Cincinnati is moving ahead with plans to create a new department of Economic Inclusion.
Council could approve the new department and director position this week.
City Manager Harry Black announced Monday that Thomas Corey will be filling the position. Corey comes to the city from Baltimore, where he has been doing similar work for the last 14 years.
Corey said his first goal is getting Council to approve a minority and female-owned business programs.
“To establish the operational framework for that, to make sure it’s within the constitutional strictures that’s there,” Corey said. “And to actually get it going and get some folks educated, both majority and minority, on how this program will will, and get some minority, women-owned businesses on contracts.”
Cincinnati officials have been criticized in past years for not awarding enough city contracts to minority and female owned businesses.
Black, who also came from Baltimore and worked with Corey, said he is battle tested.
“Clearly the idea is to stimulate our utilization of minority, women-owned businesses in terms of how the city conducts its own business,” Black said. “And to help over time, to develop capacity within those communities to be successful and competing for city business.”
An advisory council spent nearly a year reviewing the city's programs and issued its recommendations last week.
The new department, according to a city press release, will have several responsibilities:
- As approved by City Council, executing all applicable Mayor’s Economic Inclusion Advisory Council recommendations
- Evaluating, recommending and implementing policy
- Identifying and implementing opportunities to expedite economic inclusion contracting opportunities
- Assuring that city administrative staff is regularly trained on economic inclusion policies and practices
- Advocating and partnering with large local companies and stakeholders
- Reviewing, contracting and monitoring vendors and ensuring compliance with established city policies