Event followed by networking to promote local business opportunities
The Port of Oakland held an event on February 28th to connect small, local, and diverse contractors with large companies that the Port of Oakland contracts with on a variety of projects.
Prior to the contractor networking event, the Port held a workshop on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification process. A DBE certification is invaluable for small companies seeking to become sub-contractors on large infrastructure projects undertaken by the Port of Oakland.
The DBE certification workshop was followed by the main event bringing together small, local, and major contractors.
“It is important that small firms right in our backyard are given the opportunity to participate in the Port’s multi-million-dollar contracts,” said Port of Oakland Director of Social Responsibility Amy Tharpe. “Small, local businesses are the backbone of our community and are integral to local hiring and the economic health of the area.”
Four prime contractors participated in the event, including KYA, Swinerton, Turner, and Webcor, highlighting their upcoming projects. Event organizers facilitated introductions of local, small, and diverse subcontractors to the prime contractors.
“This is an opportunity for subcontractors to meet and develop a meaningful relationship with the Port’s prime contractors,” said Port of Oakland Contract Compliance Supervisor, Kimberly Wilson, who coordinated the event. “These successful networking events are important and have become a regular part of our process when we award major contracts.”
DBE is a federal small business designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Port of Oakland has a goal of incorporating 12.42% DBEs in their federally funded projects. The goal of the DBE workshop and networking event is to increase the number of DBE certified contractors that participate on Port projects as sub-contractors.