The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) recently held its “Road Work Ahead” training symposium for disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) in the state as a means of providing trends and best practices in the transportation industry as a well as an opportunity to “develop and advance valuable partnerships.”
“All DBEs want is the opportunity to compete for contracts fairly,” says Deputy Secretary of Transportation Grindly Johnson. “Since the start of the DBE program, the Transportation DBE Advisory Committee and the Virginia Department of Transportation have actively rallied behind DBE firms to ensure they receive the most advantageous opportunities to secure profitable contracts in the industry.”
More than 300 people attended the two-day event in Richmond, with more than 70 DBE firms and 25 prime contractors also in attendance.
Prior to the event, VDOT provided an “online matchmaking tool” for DBEs to “pair themselves” with business prospects and make appointments with prime contractors and consultants in order to encourage and support “research and lock-in contracts.”
“VDOT has a proven track record of assisting DBEs as well as Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Businesses,” the department reports. “To receive DBE certification, they must be approved by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, with gross receipts not exceeding an annual average of $23.98 million over the firm’s previous three fiscal years. Further support is provided by VDOT’s Business Opportunity and Workforce Development center, which offers various relevant classes, including how to estimate costs and bid, operate QuickBooks, and safety and human resources training, to name a few.”
The DBE Awards Program held during the symposium recognized the following firms for outstanding performance and participation in the DBE Program:
- DBE Supplier of the Year, Old Dominion Electrical Supply, Inc.
- DBE Consultant of the Year, GeoConcepts Engineering, Inc.
- DBE Contractor of the Year, J. R. Caskey, Inc.
- DBE Transportation of Materials of the Year, Jireh Trucking, Inc.
- DBE Safety Record of the Year, J. R. Caskey, Inc.
- DBE Trailblazer, Ramirez Contracting L. L. C.
- Prime Contractor, SKW Constructors
- Prime Consultant, HNTB
“We’re proud to assist the Transportation DBE Advisory Committee in facilitating growth and business opportunities for DBE firms in Virginia through this event,” says VDOT Commissioner Charles Kilpatrick. “These businesses play an important role in transportation projects across the Commonwealth, and are at the heart of our mission to Keep Virginia Moving.”