Last week, the US Department of Transportation’s Bonding Education Program (BEP) began its fourth site of 2012 in Birmingham, AL. This event occurred on the heels of successful launches in Columbia, SC and Kansas City in the weeks prior. The BEP, a partnership between the Surety Industry and DOT’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), is designed to help small businesses become bond-ready and better able to compete for transportation contracts.
US DOT Project Director Adrianna Clark opens orientation in Birmingham.
"We are excited to continue the expansion of the Bonding Education Program throughout the country. Access to capital, and bonding in particular, remains a major issue for small businesses, and this partnership with the surety industry is an effective solution,” remarked OSDBU Director Brandon Neal.
The BEP consists of an educational workshop component and a bond readiness component. The educational workshops include a curriculum designed to help small businesses improve their operations in order to become bonded or to increase their bonding capacity. The bond readiness component consists of one-on-one meetings with local surety professionals to assemble materials necessary to complete the bond process.
Joe Vasquez, President of Vasquez Commercial Contracting , details his success story during the kick-off workshop in Kansas City.
The administration of each site of the BEP involves the work of many local stakeholders, spearheaded by OSDBU’s regional Small Business Transportation Resource Centers (SBTRCs). The SBTRCs coordinate with state DOTs, transit and airport authorities, trade associations, government agencies, and the local surety community to bring together public and private resources with the goal of getting small businesses bonding lines and contracts to use them.
Joe Jackson, Executive Director of the Mid South Atlantic SBTRC welcomes the class in
In addition to Chicago, Columbia, Kansas City, and Birmingham, the program will expand this year to Denver, Louisville, Montgomery, Norfolk, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland, and Salt Lake City.
For more information, please visit http://www.dot.gov/osdbu/financial-assistance/bonding-education/bonding-education-program