February. 15, 2013
LAS VEGAS – Many business owners desirous of obtaining certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) begin the process eager, hopeful and full of energy. They get applications, begin filling them out and then, for any number of reasons, never complete them or submit them for review. Soon, the applications become afterthoughts, something to be completed next week, but next week never comes.
To reduce the likelihood of that happening to potential DBEs in Las Vegas, NDOT conducted a Feb. 6 workshop that offered participants a step-by-step guide to completing NDOT’s DBE certification application. Twenty seven people attended the workshop, which was held in the Nevada Minority Supplier Development Council training facility and facilitated by NDOT Civil Rights Officer Yvonne Schuman.
Schuman covered each question, answered inquiries, talked about the certification process and explained the role of the Unified Certification Program Committee (UCP). Comprised of NDOT, the Regional Transportation Commissions, Clark and Washoe Counties and McCarran and Reno/Tahoe Airports, UCP is one-stop shop for all DBE firms and those looking to do business with federal transportation authorities. UCP meets once a month and certifies eligible firms.
The day after the workshop, Kathleen Stimmel, brand development director of Fitting Images, e-mailed Schuman, delighted with what she learned during the two-hour workshop. “I want to thank you for putting on the DBE Certification Application Workshop. It was very concise and informative,” Stimmel wrote. “Now I have the momentum to move forward with my application and gather up all supporting documents. Thanks again.”
The benefits of DBE certification include but aren’t limited to: increased probability of being selected by general contractors looking to meet their DBE contract goals; enhanced networking and referral opportunities with municipal/government buyers; inclusion in the vendor directory (a list used by Nevada procurement officials to locate DBE-certified businesses); access to bid alerts and subcontracting opportunity notifications posted by general contractors and the ability to report any issues related to bidding and contracting to NDOTs Office of Civil Rights.