Local Information

WSDOT partners with Sound Transit to expand small business mentoring program

Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 10:37

Diane Gard, WSDOT Office of Equal Opportunity, 360-705-7127
Jennifer Hoback, Sound Transit Office of Small Business Development and Labor Compliance, 206-903-7171

OLYMPIA – Some of Washington's most promising small businesses will team up with dozens of the state's most respected transportation companies in the next round of a mentor-protégé program starting this spring.

The Washington State Department of Transportation launched its Mentor Protégé Program in July 2018, and now with Sound Transit joining the effort, the program is expanding and being renamed as the Capacity Building Mentorship Program.

The Capacity Building Mentorship Program is geared toward construction and transportation firms, and is designed to foster partnerships among successful large enterprises (mentors) and emerging small and diverse businesses (protégés). The program provides opportunities for participants to improve their business practices, grow their firms and develop relationships with other companies.

"We've seen a positive response from the firms participating in the Capacity Building Mentorship Program, with more than 80 percent being satisfied or very satisfied with the program," said WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. "Our success is due the willingness of the construction industry and minority business community to work together to grow our state's small businesses. I'm excited to see that work continue with Sound Transit as a partner."

In fall 2017, WSDOT hired THOR Companies, one of the largest minority-owned construction companies in the United States, to develop, support and implement WSDOT's Mentor Protégé Program. This program is part of WSDOT's State Funded Contracts – Diversity Roadmap (pdf 276 kb) and one of the highlighted efforts of the Governor's subcabinet on Business Diversity.

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