Caltrans announced January 3 that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has significantly increased the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Annual Overall Participation Goal to 17.6 percent on federally funded transportation projects in California.
That’s a 5.1 percent increase over the previous goal.
“This is great news for Caltrans and the numerous partners we work with daily,” says Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “DBE contractors, consultants, truckers, suppliers and others interested in benefitting from increased contracting opportunities will now have more opportunity to do so, right here in California.”
Requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s DBE Program aim to combat discrimination and assure that women- and minority-owned businesses have a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded contracts.
As recipients of this federal funding, Caltrans must set an overall annual goal, every three years, the agency says. The new goal will apply to federally funded contracts entered between the federal fiscal years of 2019-2021.
The past six years have brought a 30-percent increase in DBE participation on department contract. Caltrans says it is taking steps to ensure this upward trend continues.
In addition, SB 1 funding will provide $54 billion dollars over the next decade for repairing both state and local roads. Caltrans wants to see the benefits of these increased resources reach many groups, including the diverse businesses operating in the state, the agency says.
To expand contracting under SB 1, Caltrans’ Office of Business & Economic Opportunity (OBEO) plans to build upon its existing success by increasing training and certifying more DBEs over the next year. Caltrans also plans on engaging with the DBE community further to explain the potential benefits of such a significant increase in contracting dollars, the press release says.
Caltrans is dedicated to increasing DBE participation on federally funded contracts as well as increasing participation by Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) firms both on state contracts and other procurement opportunities.
For more information on certification, training or outreach for these programs visit: dot.ca.gov/obeo.