Studying the Disparity Study

The Pensacola City Council recently requested an update on the implementation of recommendations stemming from last year’s city disparity study. This morning, City Administrator Bill Reynolds informed council members that city staff would be diving into the matter with MGT of America—the company who conducted the study—this Thursday.

“They will be discussing the scope of work, identifying existing W/MBE programs similar to Pensacola for modeling purposes, prioritization of the Disparity Study recommendations, implementation schedule and creation of action items,” Reynolds wrote in an email. “In addition, MGT will be meeting separately with representatives of the FInance, Engineering, and Technology Resources Department.”

In August of 2011, the city contracted with MGT to conduct a diversity study. The study explored disparities in opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses.

In August of 2012, the city received the finished study. The study found that, overall, minorities—African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and women—in the Pensacola area are “underutilized.” While the study showed some improvement when it came to city contracts, it revealed the area’s private sector as the worst of any of the locales—140 since 1990—that MGT had assessed.

In February, the city council decided to enter into a $50,000 contract with MGT, in order to have the company guide the city towards implementing the study’s recommendations. The firm will be assisting the city with drafting ordinances, crafting policies and training in an effort to create a more equitable environment; additional costs would be associated with the actual implementation of the recommendations.