Capacity Building Mentorship

Learn how underrepresented firms can qualify to perform work on transportation-related projects.

Capacity Building Mentorship Program

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Office of Equity and Civil Rights Capacity Building Mentorship Program (CBMP) pairs mentors, prime contractors, or consultants with protégé firms that are OMWBE-certified or in Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) as small, minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses. The Program is part of Governor Inslee’s diverse business participation goal in Results Washington. The Program is also part of WSDOT’s efforts to increase diverse business participation and the State-Funded Contracts Diversity Roadmap (PDF 314KB).

Launched in March 2018, the Mentor-Protégé program started as a partnership between WSDOT, the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), and the Associated General Contractors of Washington (AGC). The initial launch included 17 mentors paired with 28 protégés. In April 2019, WSDOT re-launched the Program with Sound Transit. The Washington Minority Business Development Agency-Business Center administers the Program. 

Current program

  • The CBMP lasts two years, with a new set of partnerships beginning every year.
  • Preparation for each cohort starts with an outreach plan to recruit CBMP participants, registration preparation, and field assessments prior to participant pairings.
  • Pairing begins with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and an Individualized Development Plan.
  • Mentor and Protégé firms receive monthly check-ins, mid-cohort, and final surveys.
  • Thirty Days after the survey has closed, the provider prepares a comprehensive report to show progress on program deliverables.

The graduating firms enter an alumni program and receive program updates and related event invitations via email. Additionally, graduating firms receive priority entry into the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Support Services (DBESS) Program for technical assistance as needed.

If a Mentor and Protégé cannot complete the activities identified in their MOU or Individualized Development Plan within their allocated two years, an exit plan is created with the paired firms.

How can I be part of the Capacity Building Mentorship Program?

For more information regarding the WSDOT Capacity Building Mentorship Program, please visit

166,800 electric vehicle

registrations in Washington in 2023, up from 114,600 in 2022.

87 wetland compensation sites

actively monitored on 918 acres in 2023.

25,000 safe animal crossings

in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area since 2014.