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17 rectly identifies firms that are committed to business growth 37% rated it a 4 or 5 (very or extremely effective). Respon- and development. dents provided other examples of collecting data and docu- mentation as well. Several respondents recommended establishing a small or emerging business development program that complements a One state that has a 100% race-neutral program contin- state's DBE program. These programs can include financial ues to collect good faith effort documentation at the incentives, restricted projects, and other strategies, because time of the bid to provide a barometer of expected DBE any small company can benefit. In one state, a respondent participation. described a two-phase program, in which Phase 1 identifies firms' strengths and weaknesses and Phase 2 works with the Strategy #8: Facilitating mentor/protg programs firm on the areas that need improvement. It was noted that (in which established contractors assist smaller, use of this program was an effective strategy after the Ninth developing firms) Circuit Court decision was handed down. Mentor/protg programs pair a DBE firm with an established DBE or non-DBE firm, and the established firm provides ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT STRATEGIES business development assistance to the protg DBE firm. For Administrative support strategies include measures that states example, the two firms may meet regularly, with the mentor take to facilitate DBE participation by adjusting their policies firm assessing the protg's strengths, weaknesses, and oppor- (such as by reserving small contracts for smaller firms) or by tunities; recommending training options; and monitoring establishing initiatives such as mentor/protg programs. progress (Smith 2005). Forty-three percent of states had used this strategy; of those states, 60% found it to be effective, with In this section, administrative support strategies are listed in 30% rating it a 4 or 5 (very or extremely effective). order from most to least effective (as rated by survey respon- dents). (See Appendix B for full details on respondents' ratings Several respondents described effective implementations of each strategy.) of mentor/protg programs, including: Mentor/protg agreements of limited scope and dura- Strategy #6: Limiting certain small contracts tion, focused on a specific work area. to proposals by small firms only A job shadowing program that pairs a DBE firm that wants to expand into a new area of work with an estab- This race-neutral strategy was unique among the 22 strate- lished firm from another state that performs that type of gies in the survey in that most states did not have experience work. Working with firms from another state minimizes with it, but those that did gave it very high marks. Indeed, competition between mentor firms and those they are this strategy received both the highest percentage of ratings assisting. of effective (3, 4, or 5) and the highest percentage of ratings Establishing two mentor/protg programs for different of very or extremely effective (4 or 5) of all the strategies in purposes: a long-term program and a project-specific the survey. Although only one-quarter of states had used this program. strategy, 91% of those that had used it found it to be effec- tive, with 64% rating it a 4 or 5 (very or extremely effective). Elements of ineffective implementations include: The Florida DOT (FDOT), which rated this strategy Programs in which mentors are not allowed to subcontract highly, was contacted to discuss how that agency has used with protgs because of concerns about ethical conflicts. this strategy successfully. FDOT staff noted that the FHWA Mentor/protg agreements that extend over multiple has allowed the use of federal money on contracts reserved for years and are too all-encompassing; these may require small businesses, and that Florida's initiative is funded as part attorney assistance. of the state's alternative contracting program, allowing it to Job shadowing programs in which established firms are comply with the state's contracting regulations. See Case expected to provide assistance to smaller firms that will Example #1 in chapter five for more details. then become their competitors. Strategy #7: Collecting data on DBE participation Strategy #9: Unbundling contracts (breaking large that exceeds contract goal requirements contracts into multiple smaller contracts) to allow or that is achieved on contracts with no DBE and encourage DBEs to bid as prime contractors participation goals or quote on subcontracts Collecting this type of data is a regulatory requirement, and Fifty-five percent of the states had used this strategy; of those, a high percentage of states reported experience with this. Of 58% found it to be effective, with 35% rating it a 4 or 5 (very those states, 80% found it to be an effective process, but only or extremely effective).