(CBS DETROIT) – With the Biden administrationto remove 100% of lead pipes across the U.S., a campaign is underway to bring more contractors into the fold to do the work in Detroit.
"Women-owned, minority-owned, small base, micro base, we want everyone to have the opportunity," Tiffany Jones, the Diversity, Opportunity & Inclusion Director for the City of Detroit Water & Sewerage Department, said.
Those business owners often ask Jones how they can apply for the nearly $100 million worth of contracts currently active to replace lead service lines across the city.
"We purposely split up the contracts in smaller increments so our small contractors can also benefit," Jones said.
Over the last five years, their work has resulted in DWSD replacing more than 5,000 of the city's estimated 80,000 lead pipes.
"Some of the larger ones [contractors] can get through a block very fast. But we understand that some of our smaller contractors may take some time. So that's why we want all to be able to participate," Jones said.
Interested contractors must register with the city and through the Michigan Inter-Governmental Trade Network, also known as MITN, where bids are posted.
DWSD is hosting a special workshop next week on Dec. 7 at Focus: HOPE to walk them through the process.
"With the funding that's coming in, more money will be coming, and we'll need the capacity. So, we are encouraging all of our contractors to get bid-ready, so when those bids get posted, they'll be ready to bid," Jones said.
To register for the free workshop, visit here.
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