Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced the appointment of Youlanda Hudgins-Johnson as Director of Minority Affairs for the City of Syracuse. As Director, Hudgins-Johnson will oversee the management and operation of the city’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.
Hudgins-Johnson joined the City of Syracuse Central Permit Office in 2014 as the Right-of-Way Coordinator. In this role she also served as City Property Sales Review Committee Coordinator. She was promoted to Construction Development Coordinator in 2018 and in this role acted as the point of contact on large-scale economic development projects. She worked closely with city staff, developers, architects, contractors and business owners as they navigated the permit, licensing, planning and zoning processes. Significant to her time with the City Permit Office, Hudgins-Johnson played a major role in many of the positive changes within the reorganization of the office.
“In her work for city government and in her day to day life, Youlanda is helping Syracuse achieve its vision of being a growing city. As a business owner, she understands the opportunities and challenges faced by businesses wanting to connect with the City,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am confident that in this role she will make even more contributions to the City of Syracuse and its residents.”
In her new role, Hudgins-Johnson is responsible for certifying and supporting growth of Syracuse-based MWBEs. In addition, she will have the role of City Compliance Officer on Joint Schools Construction Board projects with the Syracuse City School District. Hudgins-Johnson will report to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to ensure compliance of inclusion goals on City of Syracuse contracts. She will also manage and collect compliance data and submit required reports, evaluate program performance, and develop strategies and recommendations to support MWBE opportunities.
The MWBE program goals ensure Section 3, Service Disabled Veterans Business (SDVB), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) compliance with federal, state and other funding requirements. The office is also charged with maximizing participation in programs that create equitable opportunity for Syracuse residents and individuals.
In addition to her role as Director of Minority Affairs, Hudgins-Johnson plays a notable role in the community. Having managed a retail shop and organic home fragrance business, she regularly participates in pop-ups, festivals and connects with creative and retail business owners in the city. She is an active member of the Creators Lounge, a space where professionals and business owners start and grow their businesses.
She serves as a member on several community committees, including the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance and the National Action Network, and previously spent several years on the NAACP Economic Development Committee.
Hudgins-Johnson is a Syracuse City School District graduate of Henninger, and she received her degree in Criminal Justice from Onondaga Community College.