Why is this important?
MoDOT believes in having regular communication with interested Disadvantaged Business Enterprise partners for two main reasons -- it helps the department successfully get DBE partners into appropriate programs and builds relationships with those partners. By hosting seminars and programs, MoDOT creates opportunities for learning about DBE firms, opportunties for continued participation by prime contractors, and helps support DBE growth, capacity expansion and diversification.
What is currently planned in this area?
MoDOT has hosted networking forums, such as recent ones for the Mississippi River Bridge to help DBEs build relationships -- not only between themselves and prime contractors, but also between DBE owners. Building relationships with prime contractors ensures the prime knows what resources and skills DBE owners have. Building relationships with other DBEs encourages partnering and mentoring opportunities to grow and diversify businesses.
What is in the future?
MoDOT is looking at facilitating mentoring opportunties for DBE firms -- between prime contractors and DBEs as well as between DBEs. In some areas, this is already occuring -- one of the prime design firms for the Mississippi River Bridge regularly provided mentoring to interested DBEs who were completing subcontract work.