The City of Harrisburg and Impact Harrisburg commissioned this disparity study, funded by the City and Impact as well as by Dauphin County and produced by a consulting team that consisted of Econsult Solutions, Inc., Milligan Consulting, LLC, and the Winston/Terrell Group (collectively “the ESI team”).
This disparity study had three main purposes:
1. To provide a baseline understanding of the City’s utilization of minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, and other disadvantaged business categories, relative to their availability in the marketplace of vendors the City has to choose from when procuring various goods and services.
2. To substantiate any appropriate race- and gender-specific contract participation goals and programmatic remedies to guide the City’s efforts to ensure equitable access for diverse businesses to the economic opportunities represented by the goods and services the City procures.
3. To inform policy, programmatic, and analysis actions that the City can take going forward to improve its understanding of and performance in supplier diversity.
ESI looked at the roughly $150 million spent in City contracts from FY 2017 to FY 2021, and analyzed the data by county of business, contract type, and Diverse Business Enterprise (DIVBE) type. Following the analysis, the ESI team made recommendations to the City for utilization goals, as well as programmatic recommendations to help achieve them.
The City of Harrisburg’s economy is rebounding from the recent challenges, and new leadership in city government is navigating the contemporary landscape in ways that build from strength and address lingering areas of concern. Looking ahead, city leaders can set a course that will yield a regional economy that is both thriving and inclusive.