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18 MENTORPROTG PROGRAMS Openly share relevant business information with the mentor, Regulation Section 26.35 (b) (2003) provides the following Follow through with actions identified in the devel- guidance on mentorprotg programs as described in con- opmental action plan, and junction with or part of the STA business development pro- Report on program progress and satisfaction. gram (BDP). Sponsor role: Monitor mentorprotg working relationship, (b) As part of a BDP or separately, you may establish a "mentor Coordinate DBE support services, protg" program, in which another DBE or non-DBE firm is the principal source of business development assistance to Receive and evaluate progress reports, and a DBE firm. Program publicity. (1) Only firms you have certified as DBEs before they are proposed for participation in a mentorprotg pro- The general text of the Ohio web page describing their mentor gram are eligible to participate in the mentorprotg program. protg program is provided in Appendix E. (2) During the course of the mentorprotg relationship, you must: (i) Not award DBE credit to a non-DBE mentor firm for using its own protg firm for more than one-half of California its goal on any contract let by the recipient, and (ii) Not award DBE credit to a non-DBE mentor firm The California DOT (Caltrans) mentorprotg mission state- for using its own protg firm for more than every ment is as follows: other contract performed by the protg firm. (3) For purposes of making determinations of business size under this part, you must not treat protg firms as affil- The Caltrans MentorProtg Program will assist Disadvan- iates of mentor firms, when both firms are participating taged Business Enterprises (DBEs) in the development of their under an approved mentorprotg program. See Appen- technical and business capabilities via training and assistance dix D of this part for guidance concerning the operation from larger, well-established construction firms. of mentorprotg programs [included in Appendix B of this synthesis.] The program elements include: A mentorprotg program is a business relationship in Monthly meetings between mentor and protg, which another firm is the principal source of business devel- Technical support from service providers, opment assistance to a DBE firm. Only 12 of 36 respondents Technical and administrative training, indicated that they have a mentorprotg program in place. Notices of anticipated and actual project opportuni- None of the STAs indicated that such programs were manda- ties, and tory for DBE firms. Distinctly different approaches were noted Networking opportunities. among the mentorprotg programs. The Ohio, California, and Texas programs are described briefly here. Protg firms are selected through an application process that limits enrollment to DBE firms in business for at least 24 months and specializing in highway construc- Ohio tion and related activities. The AGC of California provides two mentor firms for each protg. This partnership mentor The Ohio Contractor Association and Ohio DOT have entered protg program is supported by AGC of California and into a partnership mentorprotg program. Each mentor Caltrans. protg pair has agreed to work together for 2 years under the program guidelines. The time commitment for the mentor firm is estimated to be between 5 and 10 h per month. The Texas relationship is monitored by the sponsor organization, the Ohio DOT. The roles of the three parties are described as follows The Texas mentorprotg program is called Learning Infor- ( mation Networking Collaboration (LINC). Its purpose is to prepare small businesses to bid and perform on Texas DOT Mentor role: (TxDOT) projects and functions as a business development Sign an agreement with the protg; and department mentorprotg system. LINC mentors Meet regularly to discuss protg strengths, weak- introduce the protg firms to TxDOT staff and to prime con- nesses, and opportunities; tractors by providing networking opportunities. The mentor in Recommend training options; and this program is the STA rather than the traditional arrangement Monitor and report on protg progress. where a non-DBE contractor is a mentor to a DBE contractor. Protg role: The program consists of six meetings; an introductory meet- Be available for meetings with the mentor, ing followed by five meetings held in a specified STA district.

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19 The location is determined by upcoming contracting volume Material/product testing, and in the area and the number of potential DBE firms. Participant Marketing plan. firms receive presentations on the following topics: In addition to the training, participants are directly intro- Bidding and estimating (with a hands-on bid review by duced to prime contractor personnel who have been provided a support services provider), with an information packet about their LINC protg. The Contract administration, final session provides participants with a working view of the Record keeping, opportunities to bid on maintenance contracts as prime con- Construction-related legal issues, tractors. Some additional topics are covered on prequalifica- Inspections, tion, bidders questionnaire, bonding, insurance, and specific Equipment usage, contract requirements.