MBE/WBE Program FAQ's

What are the MBE/WBE program objectives?

To maximize opportunities for the legitimate participation of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises ("MBEs, WBEs") in contracting opportunities made available through Jackson County; and to foster positive relationships between M/WBEs and other businesses that lead to long-term opportunities for M/WBE success in both the public and private sectors.

How do I apply for MBE/WBE Certification?

Jackson County recognizes certifications from the City of Kansas City and the State of Missouri. The City of Kansas City offers a monthly certification workshop for those companies interested in becoming certified, contact the Human Relations Department at 816-513-1836 for information.

How can I find contracting opportunities with Jackson County?

You will first need to register with the County as a vendor. Jackson County bids Public Works projects and Non-Public Works and/or Services separately so be sure to register under the correct scope of work. After registering you will receive notifications based on your scope of work and you will be able to see bid opportunities: Public Works and Non-Public Works

How does Jackson County establish goals for M/WBE participation?

Goals are assigned to contracts with valuations over $50,000 Jackson County Code Sec. 642. The Compliance Review Office will review contracts and identify scope/s of work that can be performed by subcontractors. The CRO will search the certified firm directories for the City of Kansas City and the State of Missouri. If at least 3 certified firms are identified in each category--goals will be assigned Jackson County Code Sec. 618. MBE Goals are set at 9.5% and WBE Goals are set at 11.7% Jackson County Code Sec. 604.

Does Jackson County set goals for Veteran Business Enterprises (VBE)?

Yes, Jackson County encourages and supports VBE’s. If the CRO assigns M/WBE goals to a contract, the voluntary goal equal to the lesser of the MBE or WBE goal will be established for the Veteran Business Enterprise. Jackson County Code Sec. 1056

What is a Contract Utilization Plan?

The Contractor Utilization Plan (CUP) is a list of MBEs, WBEs and VBEs that a Bidder commits will be utilized, including its own participation as a MBE or WBE, if applicable. The CUP will list scopes of the work and the dollar values and percentages of the work to be performed by the certified firms. CUPs are included in initial bid documents. Jackson County Code Sec. 626

What if my firm cannot meet the goals on a bid solicitation?

Each bidder is responsible for making every effort to satisfy the goals. If you are unable to meet the goal, you will need to document Good Faith Efforts and provide a clear narrative explaining the failure to meet the goals.

What are Good Faith Efforts?

Good faith efforts are documented efforts a bidder puts forth to achieve the MBE or WBE goals on a project. Simply stating that you cannot meet goals is not considered sufficient. You can find more information and forms on good faith efforts here Jackson County Code Sec. 620.

I am a prime contractor; how can I find MBE/WBE firms?

Jackson County accepts certification from the City of Kansas City and the State of Missouri. You can access certified firm directories for each entity here:
Kansas City, Missouri Certified Directory
State of Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity

What is a Letter of Intent?

The Letter of Intent outlines the agreement between the prime contractor and an M/WBE for participation on a contract. It should include the work to be performed by the M/WBE in as much detail as possible, as well as the committed dollar amount. You can find a Letter of Intent form here Jackson County Code Sec. 649

What are the reporting requirements for M/WBE participation for prime contractors?

Prime contractors are required to report payments received from Jackson County and payments made to all subcontractors on the 15th of every month. Reports are to be emailed to CRO@jacksongov.org. Monthly reporting forms can be found here Jackson County Code Sec. 654.

Can I change my Contractor Utilization Plan (CUP) after it’s been approved by the CRO?

A contractor cannot make changes to the Utilization Plan or substitute MBEs or WBEs named in the Utilization Plan without the prior written approval of the CRO. Unauthorized changes or substitutions will constitute a breach of Contract, and may cause termination of the executed contract for breach, the withholding of payment, and/or subject the Contractor to Contract penalties or other sanctions .Jackson County Code Sec. 655-655.9.

Please submit in narrative in writing to the Compliance Review Office which includes:
  • Name and certification of Subcontractor and reason why Subcontractor will no longer be utilized
  • Name of certified firm/s that will be used in place of previous firm
  • Scope of work to be completed by substitute form · Submit to CRO@jacksongov.org

Please be prepared to complete a Good Faith Effort form if you are not able to find another certified firm