The Ins and Outs of Certifications

Navigating the world of certifications can be very daunting. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, please click here to check out our latest video. Key areas covered in the video include:– Understanding the certification world– Eligibility requirements– Why should you get certified?– How to get your firm certified– Your role after certification

American DBE Magazine Summer 2020 Edition

The Summer 2020 edition of American DBE magazine includes a variety of articles related to the implementation and administration of the DBE program and includes best practices and thought-provoking discourse on industry challenges. Of particular note are the following articles: Program Spotlight | Disparity Studies Provide Evidence to Confirm Contracting Inequalities: Remembering the Impact of Atlanta’s First Disparity Study on …

USDOT Announces $11.2M in Grants for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced $11.2 million in grants from the Fiscal Year 2019 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services (DBE/SS) program to help eligible small businesses compete for federal highway contracts in 47 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. “Grants like these help small business owners create jobs while keeping costs low, …

The Invest in America Act and its Impact on the USDOT DBE Program

Colette Holt, Colette Holt & Associates The new “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” Act (“Invest in America Act”), which replaces the FAST Act that expires September 30th, reauthorizes the USDOT DBE Program. The Act finds that while significant progress has been made, discrimination and related barriers continue to pose obstacles for minority- …

Charge to Repeal Prop 209

Proposition 209 is a California ballot proposition (from 1996) that prohibits state governmental institutions from considering race, gender, or ethnicity, specifically in the areas of public employment, public contracting, and public education.  This legislation has been the norm for decades, however there is strong opposition to Prop 2019 that is swiftly gaining traction. California Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 5 (ACA 5) …

$494B INVEST in America Act

Led by Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the INVEST in America Act is a proposed $494-billion, five-year surface transportation bill, which includes a 46% increase in spending for highway and transit programs. The prime components of the bill are: Highways: $319 billion Transit: $105 billion Highway safety: $10 billion Passenger rail: $60 billion …

$4.35M DBE/Small Business Fraud Settlement

On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York entered into a civil settlement agreement with Northland Associates, Inc. (Northland); JDS Construction (JDS); James Tyler, co-owner and president of Northland/JDS; and the Diverse Construction Group, LLC (Diverse). The four defendants agreed to pay a total of $4.35 million to resolve civil False Claims Act …

FTA Guidance For Transit Agencies and TVMs Rolling Stock Procurements

FTA issued guidance to help transit agencies and transit vehicle manufacturers understand and comply with the prohibitions on FTA-funded rolling stock procurements contained in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA frequently asked questions are based on inquiries from grantees and transit vehicle manufacturers. Questions include: Q1: Which manufacturers are affected by the restriction? Q2: When does the two-year phase-in …

FTA Guidance on COVID-19

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal partners to provide guidance to the public transportation industry in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Today, FTA posted 13 new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding COVID-19 on its website that cover Administrative Relief, Civil Rights, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) …

BART Hosts Virtual Speed Networking

BART has hosted virtual speed dating sessions where the agency interacts with up to 48 subcontractors to keep critical construction projects moving. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is working to increase opportunities available to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to continue essential construction projects and keeping small business employees on the job. “We are actively soliciting as …