Caltrans Announces new Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Goal
By Ana Gomez Salcido
Caltrans announced that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved a significantly increased Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Annual Overall Participation Goal of 17.6 percent on federally funded transportation projects in California, a 5.1 percent increase over the previous goal.
“This is great news for Caltrans and the numerous partners we work with daily,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “DBE contractors, consultants, truckers, suppliers and others interested in benefiting from increased contracting opportunities will now have more opportunity to do so, right here in California.”
Requirements set forth under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s DBE Program are intended to ensure non-discrimination and allow women-and minority-owned businesses have a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded contracts. As recipients of this federal funding, Caltrans must set an overall annual goal, every three years. The new goal will apply to federally funded contracts entered between the federal fiscal years of 2019-2021.
Over the last six years there has been a 30 percent increase in DBE participation on department contracts and Caltrans is taking steps to ensure this upward trend continues. In addition, SB 1 funding will provide $54 billion dollars over the next decade for repairing both state and local roads. Caltrans wants to see the benefits of these increased resources reach many groups, including the diverse businesses operating in the state.
As it gears up to expand contracting under SB 1, new efforts must be made. Caltrans’ Office of Business & Economic Opportunity (OBEO) has plans to build upon its existing success by increasing training and certifying more DBEs over the next year. Caltrans also plans on engaging with the DBE community further to explain the potential benefits of such a significant increase in contracting dollars.
Caltrans is dedicated to increasing DBE participation on federally funded contracts as well as increasing participation by Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) firms both on state contracts and other procurement opportunities. For more information on certification, training or outreach for these programs visit: www.dot.ca.gov/obeo.