Capacity Building Mentorship Program

What is the Capacity Building Mentorship Program? 

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s Capacity Building Mentorship Program pairs prime contractors or consultants (mentors) with owners of firms who are certified by the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) or registered as a small or veteran’s business (protégés).

The Program is part of Governor Inslee’s diverse business participation goal in Results Washington. It is intended to enhance the capabilities and participation of members that can perform work on transportation-related projects. WSDOT continues its commitment to supporting and building capacity for underrepresented firms to perform work on transportation-related projects.

How is the Capacity Building Mentorship Program doing?

WSDOT has paired 68 mentors with 86 protégés since the Program launched in summer 2017. WSDOT re-launched the Program with Sound Transit. Minority Business Development Agency – Tacoma Business Center is administering the Program. Additionally, Business Impact NW administers loans to protégés participating in the Program, with a total of $750,000 in loans available from local credit unions. These partnerships seek to enhance the capabilities and increase the participation of minority, small, veteran and women-owned business enterprises in the transportation sector.

What are the criteria for Protégés and Mentors?

Protégé Criteria

  • Must be a Minority, Small, Veteran, or Women’s Business Enterprise recognized by OMWBE or Washington’s Electronic Business Solution.
  • Must be established for at least three years.
  • Must be in good financial standing (current on taxes and no litigation).
  • Must not be ineligible or barred from public works (good standing with Labor & Industries).
  • Must perform some work/services that WSDOT and Sound Transit would typically contract (transportation).

Protégé Expectations

  • Two-year commitment in the Program.
  • Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mentor.
  • Take a semi-annual survey (feedback, progress, satisfaction with the Program, etc.).
  • Create a Development Plan with the Mentor based on assessment outcome (completed during the application process and before pairing).
  • Attend regularly scheduled monthly meetings (phone, email, ZOOM, etc.) with the Mentor and execute specific progress steps based on the assessment outcome.
  • Cooperate with reasonable suggestions from the Mentor to improve its business.

Mentor Criteria

  • Committed and capable of assisting in the development of small business Protégés.
  • Commit a corporate officer to represent Mentor firm.
  • Must be in favorable financial health.
  • Review Protégé materials (business plan, action plan, etc.) and key indicators (cash flow, insurance, projects, etc.).
  • Assess Protégé’s level of business capability and recommend areas of improvement.
  • Provide hands-on technical assistance (beyond workshops, checklist, templates, etc.).
  • Systematically leverage/integrate other supportive services.
  • Follow up on mutual agreements for action.
  • Willing to provide essential back-office SOPs (accounting, estimating, project management, etc.).
  • Leverage technology (efficiency, scale, etc.).
  • Focus on key performance metrics (number of projects bid, awarded, etc).
  • Focus on results.

Mentor Expectations

  • Two-year commitment in the Program.
  • Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Protégé.
  • Take a semi-annual survey (feedback, progress, satisfaction with the Program, etc).
  • Create a Development Plan with the Protégé based on assessment outcome (completed during the application process and before pairing).
  • Attend regularly scheduled monthly meetings (phone, email, ZOOM, etc) with the Protégé(s) and execute specific progress steps based on the assessment outcome.
  • Provide reasonable suggestions to the Protégé to improve its business.

Who are the current members of the Capacity Building Mentorship Program?
Despite the current global pandemic, the Program is currently on track and just completed the application process for Cohort four, which launched in November 2020. The current active* pairings are:

  Protégés Certification Cohort # Paired Mentors
1 Adept Mechanical Services, Inc.  DBE, MWBE C3 McKinstry
2 Advanced Government Services, Inc.  DBE, MWBE C4 Guy F. Atkinson
3 Ahora Construction LLC DBE, MBE C3 Hensel Phelps
4 American Abatement and Demo, LLC DBE, MWBE C4 Hensel Phelps
5 Ato Apiafi Architects LLC DBE, MBE C3 BCRA Design
6 Avalon Contracting Inc.  SBE C3 Granite Construction Company 
7 Blue Trident, LLC DBE, MBE C1 WSP USA, Inc. 
8 Communication Energy Technology Solutions, Inc.  DBE C4 Vigor Industrial LLC
9 CR Construction, Inc.  DBE, MBE C4 Granite Construction Company
10 Ergosynch LLC DBE, MWBE C3 HDR Engineering
11 Jimale Technical Services, LLC DBE, MWBE C3 Hoffman Construction
12 Land Development Consultants, Inc.  DBE, MBE C3 HNTB Corporation
13 Marwood General Construction, LLC DBE, MBE C4 Tucci & Sons, Inc. 
14 Northsound Utility and Construction, Inc.  WBE C3 Mass Electric Construction Co.
15 Quality Development, LLC DBE, MWBE C4 Absher Construction Company
16 Revere Marine, LLC DBE, WBE C4 Vigor Industrial LLC
17 Reyes Engineering, Inc.  DBE, WBE C3 McMillen Jacobs Associates
18 RHC Engineering, Inc.  DBE, MWBE C3 KBA, Inc. 
19 RHC Enterprises, Inc.  DBE, MWBE C3 The Walsh Group
20 Robert Carrillo Enterprises, LLC DBE, MBE C4 AA Asphalting LLC
21 Subsurface Construction, LLC DBE, MBE C3 Graham Contracting, Ltd
22 Taylor made Concrete, LLC SBE C4 Absher Construction Company
23 Tunista Construction, LLC DBE C3 Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. 
24 UrbanTech Systems DBE, MBE C3 Parametrix
25 Utility Mapping Services, Inc.  SBE C4 HNTB Coorperation
Number of Mentors 20*
Number of Protégé​s 25*

*Confirmed by the MBDA-Tacoma Business Center

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

For more information regarding the WSDOT Capacity Building Mentorship Program, please visit www.capacitymentorship.com.

Capacity Building Mentorship Updates/Events

For more information contact:

Diane Gard
DBE Support Services 
WSDOT Office of Equal Opportunity
360-705-7127 - diane.gard@wsdot.wa.gov