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Since its beginning in 1983, WCOE has been on the forefront of national legislative changes impacting women owners and executives in the construction industry. From the first Washington DC meeting in 1985, WCOE members have been meeting with members of Congress, Congressional staff and senior administrators to advocate for a level playing field for women owned businesses. Our many successes speak for themselves.
1985 Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole establishes a separate 3% WBE goal for DOT contracts.
1987 National President Dorothy Erickson and Legislative Chair Deborah Wilder are invited to breakfast in the West Wing of the White House to discuss WCOE legislative priorities with Public Liaison Director and Special Assistant to the President, Linda Avery.
1987 WCOE members testify before Congress relating to WBE goals. Congress responds by creating a combined DBE goal of 10% for women and minorities.
1988 WCOE works with Congressman LaFalce and NAWBO’s Gillian Rudd to pass HR 5050 establishing the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC).
1988 WCOE teams with American Subcontractors Council to support a Prompt Payment Act.
1989 WCOE members Nina Tate, Marjorie Herter and Deborah Wilder are invited (and attend) the presidential inauguration of President George H.W. Bush.
1989 WCOE member, Marilu Meyer, owner of Castle Construction in Chicago, becomes the first chairwoman of NWBC.
1990 WCOE’s Shirleen McQuerry, owner of High Valets in Columbus OH, testifies before Congress on the burdens of duplicate WBE/DBE certifications. (Shirleen’s company does highway and asphalt work in several states and has to maintain over 20 WBE/DBE certifications.)
1991 California WCOE members form a coalition to support the passage of the Prompt Pay Law in California.
1992 California WCOE leads the way to amend the subcontractor listing law by forming a coalition of 20 associations to guarantee rights of subcontractors in the public bidding process. (Late night sessions in the California capitol, including drafting amendments with Senate Pro Tem Leader, David Roberti’s staff while sitting on the floor outside of hearing rooms made WCOE one of the most respected players representing construction issues.)
1992 WCOE teams with ASA to have Congress pass the Equal Access to Surety Bonding Act. This successful endeavor took 6 years and 3 sessions of Congress to pass.
1992 WCOE Past President Judy Grammar makes an unsuccessful run for Congress
1994 WCOE Legislative Chair Deborah Wilder makes an unsuccessful run for Congress
1996 Senator Nancy Kassenbaum attends WCOE Annual Meeting to accept award for her 18 years of service in the US Senate.
1998 WCOE Legislative Chair Deborah Wilder is installed as Mayor of Foster City, CA.
1999 WCOE Past President Marjorie Herter attends inaugural meeting of WIPP. (WCOE is a founding partner of WIPP and still maintains that status today.)
2000 WCOE advocates for amendments to the Small Business Act to create the 8m (WOSB) program to remedy the underutilization of women owned businesses in the federal contracting system.
2002 WCOE advocates for implementation of the 8m program passed by Congress.
2006 WCOE joins WIPP and NAWBO at the White House to discuss implementation of the 8m program.
2007 WCOE Annual Meeting attendees attend White House briefing.
2009 President Obama’s Public Liaison Director Tina Chen addresses WCOE’s Annual Meeting on the commitment to implement the 8m program.
2010 WCOE submits official comments on SBA Size Standards, net worth, 8m WOSB Program and needed DBE provisions.
2011 SBA successfully launches 8m WOSB program on 2/4/11, 11 years after passage.
2011 WCOE submits testimony to the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending on “Regulatory Impediments to Job Creation: the Cost of Doing Business in the Construction Industry”.
2011 WCOE joins coalition urging support of Government Neutrality in Contracting Act ending special interest handouts.
2011 WCOE submits testimony on implementation of Davis-Bacon Act to the House Subcommittee on Workforce protections.
2011 WCOE writes letters of endorsement to Senate Small Business Committee for permanent appointment of SBA Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Dr. Winslow Sargeant.
2011 WCOE urges repeal of 3% withholding requirement from all publicly funded projects.
2011 WCOE joins Mid-Tier Advocacy Group to establish a government contracting restricted competition goal for mid-tier companies that would be in addition to, not in lieu of, set-asides for small and minority owned businesses.
2011 WCOE takes the lead in establishing a coalition to urge SBA to change the construction industry size standards from gross revenue based to FTE (full time employee equivalent) based.