OMWBE (Office of Minority Women Business Enterprise)
Many state agencies and prime contractors have goals to contract and/or subcontract with small, certified businesses. Unlike the federal government, set-aside goals are encouraged but not yet mandatory. Each state, county, local agency and prime contractor sets their own goals for specific socioeconomic categories internally and work diligently to meet these goals to work with:
- DBE (Disadvantage Business Enterprise)
- WBE (Women Business Enterprise)
- MBE (Minority Business Enterprise)
- Or a different set-aside
Small businesses that qualify and become certified can work with state agencies, local governments, school districts, and public universities. Small businesses can also work with federally funded transportation projects that have mandated goals. Some private companies utilize companies that are certified as well. Once certified, the company is listed on the OMWBE directory in which agencies and private companies can search to find already certified firms.
Bouten Construction, Washington PTAC – an APEX Accelerator, along with guest speakers from Hills International held an event to discuss the advantages of certification and the steps to become certified. Nick Gonzales of Bouten Construction discussed their upcoming projects, their supplier diversity goals, and the advantages of being certified. Colin Anderson and Becky Blankenship of Hills International talked about the benefits of being a certified firm. Aleesha Roedel of Greater Spokane Inc. and Washington PTAC, discussed the different certifications, why to become certified, and the eligibility requirements to become certified.