M-DCPS’ Office of Economic Opportunity reaching out to the community


Brian Williams

The School Board of Miami-Dade County established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) in 2012 to facilitate the equitable participation of small businesses and those owned by minority groups. Through such participation, minority firms have the opportunity to compete and potentially provide professional and contractual services needed by the school district.

The OEO’s mission is to promote the development of economic relations and activities between private entities of any size and the school district while at the same time stimulating the growth of small businesses, micro businesses and minority/women owned enterprises. A certification program ensures that all firms meet the required regulations set by the School Board.

To qualify as a contractor, a provider must be identified as “ready, willing and able” in the performance of the advertised services and fill out an RFP (Request for Proposal RFP). The Office of Economic Opportunity provides technical assistance in the areas of general requirements, regulations, marketing and conflict resolution. The Office also informs the public about the district’s expenditures with minority and women entities.

Providers can obtain additional information about the process by calling 305-995-1307 and making an appointment with an Office representative and obtain the forms required in order to be certified. Tuesdays of each week are reserved for such appointments. The Office even has a process of reciprocity that allows them to accept certification applications from other government agencies.

Since its inception in 2012, OEO has certified 240 small businesses, 492 micro businesses, and 820 minority and women business enterprises. During that period, the Office has sponsored several events and workshops to educate the community about the many economic opportunities and activities that they can participate. One such event will take place on Monday, December 7, 2015, 3 to 7 p.m., at Miami Central Senior High School, 1781 NW 95 Street, Miami, Florida.

Entrance is free, with a special program beginning at 3:30 p.m. Guests can learn about getting certified as a small or minority business, as well as technical training opportunities and current job opportunities currently available at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Miami-Dade voters overwhelmingly approved the General Obligation Bond in 2012, and the district has worked hard to ensure that all sectors of the local economy have equal access in bidding for contractual work made possible by the bond. Our OEO is in place to make sure that no one is left out or marginalized by lack of information and that the bidding for contracts is carried out in an honest and transparent manner.

Brian Williams, Economic Development Officer can be reached at 305-995-1307 or via email at oeo@dadeschools.net.

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