Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks Prime Management Contract Our team was tasked with providing information, conducting outreach and creating events targeted at Small and Disadvantaged businesses to help prepare them for the future FasTracks Rail Line Projects. In this capacity, we created strategic outreach plans, assisted businesses in receiving DBE and SBE certifications, prepared small businesses for the upcoming opportunities, developed targeted partnering programs and produced large outreach events attracting hundreds of people, developed and presented programs.
Regional Transportation District’s $2.3 Billion Eagle P3 Commuter Rail Project Fluor International contacted Linda Wilson two years in advance of the anticipated selection date to assist them in navigating the Denver landscape. They were uncertain of the community concerns, local demographics, and general knowledge of the small business community. By making strategic introductions, hosting get-to-know-you events and arranging for one-on-one introductions, we were able to position Fluor as a known name in the community. Named the DBE/SBE Liaison for the project, Ms. Wilson designed and developed the various program strategies, outreach methodologies, program management and execution, coordinated and managed the Business Leaders Roundtable, a program designed to provide a conversation platform for “right sizing” procurement opportunities. Additionally, our team created, developed and facilitated a model Mentor Protege Program that exceeds all Federal regulations, developed, managed and implemented a year-long Bonding and Financial Guidance Workshop as well as continual oversight of compliance practices and strategies for DBE/SBE retention, oversight and growth. This nationally recognized program is viewed by other transit authorities as the model program and standard for other to achieve.
Mentor Protégé Program As we developed the small and disadvantaged outreach plan for the Eagle P3 Project we kept in mind a number factors or potential barriers for small business to compete and grow. One of the programs we created was the Mentor Protégé program. The program was designed to nurture long-term relationships within the teams or partnerships. We also felt it was necessary that either the mentor or protégé have a contract to work on the project. Most importantly we wanted to develop a program with clear and measurable results. Additionally this program was developed to meet Federal guidelines.
This program has helped businesses achieve business growth and goals well beyond projections. By providing a structure and reporting process, the teams were able to accelerate their progress allowing them to put new goals in place. The program was developed in the proposal phase of the Eagle P3 project, has been in place throughout the duration of the project and its methodologies have been adopted by other projects nationwide.
Circle of Partnerships – Workforce Initiative Program Working on a CDOT project in the small town of Trinidad, Colorado, there we learned there was a high rate of employment. Working with CDOT, our firm developed and facilitated the “Circle of Partnerships,” a Task Force that included the Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Development Center, Trinidad State Junior College, Office of Economic Development, CDOT and the prime contractor. We coordinated, facilitated and managed all the logistics for monthly Task Force meetings. The meetings were held to identify employment opportunities, the Workforce Center screened the applicants, the Junior College trained the applicants and the prime contractor hired the trained workforce. The State of Colorado awarded this project the Governor’s Star Award for its innovation and focus on results.
Business Leaders Roundtable – Community Leaders Very large projects are always a focal point for community organizations. The Eagle P3 Project ($2.2 billion) was a sizable project worthy of a lot of attention. Having worked in the community for many years our firm understood the attention this project would get. In the proposal phase of this project we began introducing the contracting team to the community, minority chambers, contracting organizations, grass roots organizations, neighborhood associations, etc. As the project became a reality we organized the effort, put a name to it, Business Leaders Roundtable and formalized the relationship. Monthly Roundtable meetings were held that provided the forum for two way dialogue. It allowed the contracting team, Denver Transit Partners to present their contracting opportunities to the round table and for the organizations to voice opinion on work scopes that would be appropriate for their membership. The Roundtable helped to create a partnership with organizations and maintain consistent dialogue where there are often competing interests.
Job Fair Working in low income and minority communities always requires sensitivity to the local issues. We have created job fairs specific to particular projects that target the local community, thereby providing some much needed opportunities where the need is great and the project is at their door step. We have devised tactics to be able to measure the results and track the progress of the applicants. The job fair created for the CDOT US 6 project drew 300 applicants from the surrounding community. It was cited by Denver’s Mayor Hancock as a model program to be implemented on other large projects affecting low income communities.
Certification Assistance Programs Many projects have small and disadvantaged goals put on their projects. As more projects are underway in any particular community, the capacity of the existing certified businesses is at its maximum. We have created outreach events to educate and assist businesses in the certification process. We have also performed as counselors to help a business overcome some of the barriers they might have that is holding them back from getting their certifications. When we started a project in southern Colorado there were no certified DBE firms in the entire county. With our outreach efforts we were able to increase that number to 12. Again this program was designed to be able to measure the results.
Workshops Entrepreneurial ventures are seldom the result of a Harvard Business Degree, often-times small businesses are the genesis of one talented person who develops their craft into a business. Learning the nuances and skills of running a business are learned the “hard” way. We have developed and facilitated workshops focusing on different topics that fit the needs of the community. We are able to provide the professionals on any business topic to teach workshops.