The National Academies

ACRP 06-05 [Active]

Guidance for Diversity in Airport Businesses Contracting and Workforce Programs

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
Research Agency: CADMUS
Principal Investigator: Richard Krop
Effective Date: 5/25/2018
Completion Date: 9/24/2019

The challenges of running inclusive and diverse organizations apply to airports of all types and sizes. As recipients of federal funds, airports are required to administer a federal program that seeks to provide equal access for participation in airport related business opportunities. Likewise, many airports are also obligated to do so under state and local programs. There are indicators that many airports are already taking proactive steps to address these issues and are unlocking the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce. These programs provide benefits to the airport and surrounding communities, but there has not been a comprehensive benefit-cost analysis for diversity contracting programs and its impact on the workforce.
Airport specific research is needed to provide guidance for identifying and calculating benefits and costs of business and workforce diversity programs. Understanding and communicating the economic impact on airports and surrounding communities can benefit both airport operators and stakeholders.   
The objective of this research is to develop guidance to assist airport operators and various stakeholders at airports of all types and sizes that (1) identifies and quantifies the benefits, costs, and the regional economic impact of  diversity contracting  for airport businesses to be coupled with a related tool(s); and (2) correlates diversity and inclusion challenges with best practices to mitigate those challenges in airport workforce programs. 
The guidance for the diversity contracting initiatives for airport businesses should include, but not be limited to:
  • An overview of federal regulations (i.e., 49 CFR Part 23 and 26);
  • A sampling of non-federal diversity contracting program for airport businesses methodologies and outcomes;
  • A reference to the case studies presented in ACRP Report 126: A Guidebook for Increasing Diverse and Small Business Participation in Airport Buinsess Opportunities and an update on their status;
  • Expanded case studies to include non-FAA Part 139 airports examples;
  • Effective outreach strategies to increase awareness of airport contracting programs;
  • Identification of effective, specific steps to enhance inclusion and diversity in airport contracting opportunities;
  • An introduction of the tool (i.e., an executive summary) and its functionality and steps for implementation; and
  • A glossary of terms and appendix of industry resources and references.
The tool(s) should be designed, at a minimum, to:
  • Use an intuitive interface for data collection and reporting on the following topics of diversity contracting initiatives:
    • Stakeholder engagement;
    • Costs (direct and indirect);
    • Benefits (tangible and intangible);
    • Risk factors; and
    • Impacts (economic and social).  
  • Measure outputs and outcomes of such initiatives in the following manner:  
    • Participating stakeholders in diversity program efforts;
    • Comparing direct and indirect costs;
    • Reporting on (tangible and) intangible benefits;
    • Analyzing risk for the costs and benefits to both the airport and its community; and
    • Influencing factors that impact the community and economy with or without diversity programs.

 The guidance for the challenges and best practices in enhancing airport workforce diversity should include, but not be limited to:

  • Effective, specific steps to enhance inclusion and diversity;
  • Recruiting and hiring practices;
  • Talent development and retention; 
  • Succession planning;
  • Training and educational opportunities;
  • Encouraging non-traditional employees;
  • Response to acts of discrimination; and
  • The potential benefits of a diverse workforce through outreach.  
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
The research plan should include appropriate interim deliverables, for ACRP approval, that include at minimum:
1.  An comparative outline of published and current research that will demonstrate how this research will not be redundant and will enhance prior research (see Special Note A);
2. A preview of the framework of a tool(s) to include a listing of queries to be used and how it has been/may be validated (i.e., beta tested); and
3. An interim report that (a) describes work done in early tasks with an updated work plan for remaining tasks; (b) a detailed outline of the final guidance document of diversity contracting initiatives for airport businesses and an initial list of challenges and best practices in airport workforce programs; and (c) a demo of the tool(s) that will require ACRP approval.  
The research plan should include other appropriate checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including at a minimum (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed and (2) one face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting, as well as web-enabled teleconferences tied to the panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables deemed appropriate. 
The final deliverables will include:
1. A guidance document that addresses the requirements in the objective for diversity contracting initiatives for airport businesses with its associated tool(s), along with the challenges and best practices for enhancing airport workforce diversity programs;
2. An executive summary that can be used as a basis for a presentation or marketing tool to demonstrate the value of the research;
3. A contractor’s final report that documents the methodology of the entire research effort, including any background information and the research team’s recommendation of research needs and priorities for additional related research; and
4. A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.”
STATUS: Cadmus has been selected to conduct the research. Research is underway. 

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