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Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

The purpose of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is to ensure a level playing field and foster equal opportunity for firms owned and operated by disadvantaged individuals on USDOT-assisted contracts and procurements.

The primary functions of the DBE unit include:

  • Setting Condition of Award (COA) or Voluntary goals on applicable projects.
  • Assisting the Construction Office in the administration of project advertising and awards as it relates to DBE participation.
  • Monitoring DBE participation levels on contracts.
  • Conducting Commercially Useful Function (CUF) reviews of DBEs on WSDOT federal-aid funded contracts.
  • Providing assistance in resolving DBE compliance disputes and complaints.
  • Providing program guidance to Regional EEO Officers and Project Engineers.
  • Providing program training for WSDOT personnel, local agencies, contractors, and other interested parties.
  • Monitoring the administration of consultant contracts as they relate to DBE participation.
  • Assisting in the management of certification and supportive services contracts and in conducting program management reviews.

For more information regarding DBE Certification, please refer to: www.omwbe.wa.gov.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Support Services Program

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Support Services is a federally funded program designed to help those DBEs wishing to work on WSDOT highway projects. Support services are available only to DBEs who are certified in the highway construction industry to include construction companies, consultants and Regular Dealers. WSDOT’s DBE Support Services program offers the following services free of charge:

  • Technical assistance in the areas of:
    • Estimating and bidding
    • Record keeping
    • Business management
    • Financial accounting
  • Enrollment in a business development program
  • Enrollment in business related courses
  • Access to highway plans and specifications
  • Notification of upcoming contracting opportunities
  • Notification of upcoming outreach and networking events

Partners

The Office of Equal Opportunity has contracted with the Seattle Business Assistance Center (SBAC) to assist small, women, and minority businesses in the State of Washington obtain the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification, and assist those firms who are DBE certified seeking to bid on transportation projects. This program has been developed to increase DBE participation in WSDOT projects with USDOT federal financial-assistance.

The DBE Support Services program provides many resources including individual business counseling sessions, and group trainings intended to help companies excel. This program offers guidance through the certification application process for companies that have not yet been certified. Companies that are already DBE certified are also encouraged to participate in the variety of services and resources available to facilitate the firm’s development into businesses capable of competing for and performing on federally funded projects.

The primary purpose of the DBE Support Services is to provide training and one-on-one consulting sessions on both construction and consulting related issues and general business practices. Group trainings will be held throughout the State of Washington in communities such as Spokane, Seattle, Vancouver, Bellingham, Tri-Cities, Yakima, etc. Program trainings include, but are not limited to, the following classes:

  • Guidance with the DBE Certification Process
  • Understanding WSDOT Projects
  • Bidding and Estimating
  • Prompt Payment and Retainage, Including Liens
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Scheduling
  • Project Management
  • Bonding and Insurance
  • WSDOT’s DBE Program Responsibilities and Requirements
  • Documentation and Record Keeping

The SBAC is a consortium of non-profit community development organizations. The organization includes a community development corporation that provides training, counseling and membership. The SBAC also includes a certified community development financial institution that provides access to capital and business assistance to small businesses, with special emphasis on low-income, women and minority entrepreneurs and small businesses in distressed and underserved communities in Washington State. The SBAC’s approach to economic development and alleviating poverty is through self-sufficiency achieved through entrepreneurialism. The SBAC's comprehensive assistance programs include:

  • Technical Assistance - trained counselors that help small businesses with all aspects of starting and running a small business, including marketing, management, finance and strategic planning. SBAC also assists clients with their business plans, cash flow projections and loan applications.
  • Training - training programs designed specifically for entrepreneurs.
  • Loans - offers financing to qualified small businesses and start-ups through our small business loan program.

WSDOT also partners with The Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) to assist DBE firms. The SBTRC offers market research, business training and counseling, referrals, and processing of short-term loans.

WSDOT DBE Support Services Program Contact Information

For more information, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity in Olympia toll free at (888) 259-9143. We can also be reached by email at dbess@wsdot.wa.gov or by writing to:

Washington State Department of Transportation
Office of Equal Opportunity
310 Maple Park Avenue SE
P.O. Box 47314
Olympia, WA 98504-7314

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