Thursday, May 6, 2010

Free Assistance Workshop

Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley today announced that the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be conducting a free MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop on Thursday, May 27, 2010, at the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick beginning at 10 a.m. The mobile workshop series is part of Governor Martin O’Malley’s new certification outreach program to fully explain the certification process. This free program includes a comprehensive overview of the certification process and provides participants with the opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with a certification expert.

“Maryland is committed to ensuring that all small, minority- and women-owned firms have the opportunity to participate fully and fairly in State contracting,” said Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley. “The workshops are another step forward in the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to expand opportunities to more Marylanders. MBE/DBE programs are an essential component of the State’s minority business inclusion efforts.”

The workshop will be conducted by MDOT’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise, the official certification agency for the State, and will provide valuable information to firms interested in becoming certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and/or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Maryland maintains one of the most aggressive minority participation goals in the country at 25% overall with subgoals of 10% for women-owned firms and 7% for African American-owned firms.

This workshop helps firms determine if they meet the program’s requirements and offers valuable tips for completing the application process. It covers the five key requirements for certification and the four steps in the certification process. Participants will get an in-depth look at the application and have an opportunity to meet with certification experts one-on-one to ask questions that relate specifically to his/her business.

“Certification is very attainable for qualified firms and it can open new doors of opportunity,” said Zenita Wickham Hurley, Director of MDOT’s Office of Minority Business Enterprise. “We are excited to be partnering with SBDC in Western Maryland to demystify the certification program.”

To register for the free MBE/DBE Application Assistance Workshop on May 27, 2010, in Frederick, contact the SBDC at 301-600-1967 or