The program provides training, networking, and bidding opportunities. On November 10, 2021, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced the launch of a DDC Mentoring Program designed to support and increase business opportunities for Minority- and Women- Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs). As the principal construction management agency for New York City, the DDC is responsible for many City contracting opportunities and projects with M/WBE firms. The program was modelled after successful mentoring programs at the NYC School Construction Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This type of mentoring program is the first for a New York City agency.
The new program will help M/WBEs grow by preparing them to compete for open market contracts with the goal of increasing their financial capacity. Program participants will received detailed assistance from construction industry experts; project-specific assistance; access to construction industry networking events; tailored business management and growth planning support; trainings and resources to learn how to successfully work with City agencies; exclusive opportunities to bid on specially designated projects valued up to $1.5 million; and the eligibility to enroll in the Graduate Mentoring Program and compete for projects up to $3 million in value.
Program participants will also have access to Small Business Services staff through DDC’s partnership with Small Business Services.
To qualify for the program, businesses must be in the construction industry, have been in business for at least one year, and must be certified by the Department of Small Business Services as an M/WBE or “small business.” For the program, small businesses are independently owned and operated non-M/WBEs with average annual gross earnings between $150,000 and $500,000 for the last three calendar years. Interested applicants should register as a “Bidder/Proposer/Mentor” here, then click on the Mentoring Access Portal and complete the Eligibility Screening Questionaire. If a business meets the preliminary qualifications, it will receive access to the Program application.
DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer stated, “DDC’s Mentoring Program is designed to prepare qualified M/WBEs and small businesses to successfully compete for and complete City construction contracts. Participants will receive customized business growth planning and industry training and will gain real-life experience under the guidance of DDC professionals and established firms with years of experience in the field. This program has the potential to truly give emerging firms a stepping stone to long-term success.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)