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.
STATUS: The research is concluded. The final report is under editorial review.