Interested Host Sites
Caltrans is looking for qualified Universities and Colleges to administer our Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services (DBE/SS) programs.
We are looking to recruit and implement contracts as soon as possible. This program is federally funded through the Federal Highway Administration. Our contracts are one year long, with a second-year option pending available funding.
Caltrans seeks to narrowly tailor this program to provide more geographically focused services. Caltrans is seeking vendors to bid on services by specific Caltrans Districts.
Interested vendors can bid on providing services to multiple districts.
- Statement of Work
- Letter from the College/University Board, President, or Dean stating that all employees listed in the statement of work are college/university employees
If interested, vendors should send the required documents to DBE.SS@dot.ca.gov. Bids for this work will be considered non-responsive if they do not include all of the required information.
Scope of Work
The purpose of Caltrans’ DBE/SS Program is to increase the number of certified DBEs active in the federal-aid highway construction industry and contribute to their growth and eventual self-sufficiency. Caltrans’ DBE/SS Program will also provide services to help develop, or improve, immediate and long-term business management skills as well as increase Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) capacity, record keeping, and financial and accounting capabilities. Development of these skills will expand opportunities for DBEs to participate in a variety of highway-related work and be competent to perform work on increasingly significant projects.
There will be two stages for DBE/SS Program: A Developmental Stage and a Transitional Stage. During the contract term, the contractor(s) shall:
- Recruit DBEs into the Business Development Program (BDP) focusing on work codes provided by Caltrans. These work codes are determined by evaluating anticipated contract needs based on Caltrans’ Look Ahead Report to better ensure opportunities to work for BDP participants.
- Enroll new DBEs statewide that capable of performing work on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts that have never contracted with or have had limited success in contracting to perform work on Caltrans projects.
- Conduct an assessment of each enrolled BDP participant to determine the participants’ strengths and weaknesses; with particular attention paid to the means of correcting any financial, managerial, technical, or deficiencies in capacity which could impede the participant from participating in Caltrans contracts.
- Create an individualized plan for each DBE participating in the BDP to address and correct and deficiencies, and ensure services are tailored to participants’ needs to the maximum extent possible.
- Develop a business plan for each program participant that constitutes the participant's short- and long-term goals and a strategy for developmental growth to the point of economic viability in working outside the support of the BDP.
- Facilitate bid submittals for each BDP participant on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts.
- Facilitate submittal DBE certification applications for businesses that are capable of performing work on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts.
- Additionally, to provide services to those DBEs who may not qualify for the BDP due to their work codes, do not meet the “new and limited” qualifications listed above, or in the process of DBE certification status change initiated by their certification agency, program vendors may be contracted to provide Caltrans specific Contracting Workshops in various Caltrans Districts throughout the State.
During the term of the contract, the contractor(s) will be expected to demonstrate progress monthly in each of the above-mentioned areas as shown in the “Results-Oriented Phases”. As a part demonstrating monthly progress, they will be directed to send a reporting template created by Caltrans that documents their current progress, and that shows the projected balance of the contract should they continue to achieve at their current rates. If it does not appear that they will come close to exhausting the funds, the contractor(s) will be required to submit a plan on how they will achieve the stated goals.
Caltrans plans to manage these contracts using a pay-for-performance approach, which allows Caltrans to hold the contractor(s) accountable based on the success of DBEs who participate in the DBE/SS Program. Caltrans has successfully utilized this approach to increase the number of DBEs bidding on federal-aid highway projects and increase the number of DBEs working on federal-aid highway projects.
Caltrans has designed a program that focuses on the importance of stakeholder accountability in generating positive outcomes for participants in construction-related training programs. Program contractor(s) is paid according to every benchmark attained in each phase of the DBE/SS Program. Caltrans’ program will be divided into two stages, with multiple phases in each stage. A BDP participant is expected to complete each phase of the Developmental Stage and the Transitional Stage to move on to the next phase.
Developmental Stage (DS): DS – Phase 1:
Enroll DBEs into the BDP and conduct a comprehensive assessment of the participant’s business needs
Each DBE is assigned with work code(s) by their certifying agencies based on their NAICS codes to further narrow and explain the types of work a DBE may perform on a contract. Caltrans uses these work codes to assist in determining DBE participation goals on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts. In accordance with targeted work codes determined by Caltrans, the contractor(s) shall focus recruitment of DBEs based on DBE availability in their contracted district, using data from the California Unified Certification Program (CUCP) database, with Caltrans' DBE participation reports to identify DBEs that are new and limited contracting small business enterprises and who may benefit from enrolling in the DBE/SS Program.
The contractors are to conduct an analysis the DBEs participating in the BDP not limited to an evaluation of the participant’s market potential, a determination of the BDP participants’ strengths and weaknesses, evaluate the BDP participants’ prospects for profitable operation, and assess their capacity to perform work on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts.
Once the analysis is complete, the contractor(s) shall develop an individualized business support plan to address and correct any weaknesses evaluated during the assessment and include specific targets, objectives, and goals for the business development of the participant during their participation in the BDP.
To support the development of a comprehensive business plan and to provide additional support for future networking to primes and bidding opportunities, the contractor(s) shall assist BDP participants in developing a Capability Statement. This document provides a foundation for creating a fully developed business plan and must be submitted to Caltrans for review upon completion.
The contractor(s) shall administer an official Supportive Service enrollment application provided by Caltrans that describes the benefits, expectations, and requirements of the Supportive to be completed by each program participant. Caltrans must approve of a DBE before it is enrolled in the program in order for the vendor to be paid.
DS – Phase 2: Facilitate DBE Certification Application Submittals
Within the contract term, the contractor(s) shall assist business firms with their DBE certification application submittals. Only those businesses that are not yet certified DBES and have been identified in DS Phase with targeted work codes that are capable of performing work on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts shall be placed in DS Phase 2.
The contractor(s) shall provide technical assistance to DBEs placed in DS Phase 2 to fill out and submit to Caltrans complete DBE certification applications, using the contact information and instructions provided in the certification application. The certification application assistance shall include, but not be limited to:
- Ensuring potential DBEs complete all applicable portions of the certification application
- Ensuring potential DBEs include all required supplemental documentation with their certification application
- Working with potential DBEs to identify and address portions of the DBE certification application that may require additional detail, prior to submittal of the certification application to Caltrans
The contractor(s) shall provide the DBE certification application submittal report to Caltrans for review with each progress report, or as directed by the Caltrans Contract Manager.
DS – Phase 3: Develop Business Plan for each program participant and technical assistance
Within the contract term, the contractor(s) shall assist DBEs on Comprehensive Supportive Service Track to complete and update their business plan.
The contractor(s) shall develop a comprehensive business plan, or review and complete an existing business plan, for each BDP participant, prior to receiving support for bid submittals. All business plans shall conform to the requirements of 49 CFR Part 26, Appendix C, and include, but not be limited to, the following components:
- Market Analysis
- Sales and Marketing
- Financial Planning
- Competitive Analysis
The contractor(s) shall provide BDP participants with individualized counseling, technical assistance, and training necessary to access relevant markets and strengthen financial and business/management skills. The contractor(s)'s technical assistance and training services for BDP participants shall include, but not be limited to:
- Assistance with reading standard specification, project plans, request for proposal packages, and other relevant solicitation documents
- Assistance with estimating and bidding methodologies
- Assistance with proposal development and interview panel preparation for professional services contracts
- Assistance with navigating highway construction and professional services contracting websites, including but not limited to, Caltrans' Division of Engineering, Services-Office Engineer website, Caltrans' Division of Procurement and Contracts' website, Caltrans' electronic bidding platforms, local public agency contracting websites and procurement portals, and Cal eProcure
- Assistance with becoming eligible for and obtaining bonding and financial assistance, including but not limited to, securing commercial term loans, revolving lines of credit, liability insurance, and surety bonds
- Assistance enhancing expertise in complying with business and employment law, labor compliance/Davis-Bacon Act, workers' compensation insurance requirements, construction management, project management, and construction site safety
- Assistance with contract compliance (daily logs, invoicing, reports, certified payroll, and closeout)
- Assistance with project management
The contractor(s) shall provide the BDP participant report to Caltrans for review with each progress report, or as directed by the Caltrans Contract Manager. Payments for this phase are based on the number of a completed, verifiable business plan.
Each BDP participant must have a completed business plan to move on to the “Transitional Stage” of the program.
If a business already has a plan prior to enrollment, the vendor cannot bill Caltrans for this expense.
To help prepare BEP participants for competing in the marketplace, the contractor(s) shall provide BDP participants with a structured individualized process of counseling, technical assistance, and any specific training necessary to develop the capacity of the BDP participant as determined by the assessment and plan developed in Developmental Stage Phase-1. The contractor is responsible for any expenses accrued from conducting additional training.
Further, if the contractor(s) are unable to provide the necessary services as determined by the individualized plan for the BDP participant, the contractor(s) shall refer the BDP participant to any appropriate supportive services program(s) to ensure the proper growth and development of the business during their participation in the BDP.
Transitional Stage (TS): TS – Phase 1: Facilitate Bid Submittal
Within the contract term, the contractor(s) shall assist DBEs enrolled in BDP with bid submittals on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction or professional services contracts. The contractor(s) shall analyze various resources to assist DBEs in identifying and pursuing work including, but not limited to:
- Caltrans' Division of Engineering Services and Division of Procurement and Contracts websites
- Caltrans' construction contract Look Ahead Report
- Caltrans' architectural and engineering (A&E) contract look ahead report
- Local public agency websites and procurement portals (i.e., PlanetBids)
- Cal eProcure (www.caleprocure.ca.gov)
The contractor(s) will provide technical assistance to DBEs that includes, but is not limited to:
- Assistance in searching for contracting opportunities
- Assistance in developing and submitting bids
The contractor(s) shall provide the participant report to Caltrans for review with each progress report that include, but is not limited to, the name of each participant who submits a bid, date submitted, contract number, description of the work pursed, the name of the bidder to whom the bid was submitted, and the status (i.e., accepted, partially accepted, or rejected).
Payments for this phase are based on the number of verifiable, and appropriate bids by the participants. In an effort to increase the number of unique DBEs active on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction and professional services contracts, Caltrans shall limit paid bid submittal assistance to no more than 2 bid submittals per BDP participant.
TS – Phase 2: Contract Award Bonus (CAB)
For each participating DBE in the Supportive Service Plan who successfully competes for work on a Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction and professional services contracts; and is awarded either as subcontractor or prime contractor, the contractor(s) is eligible to receive a CAB. In an effort to increase the number of unique DBEs active on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction and professional services contracts, Caltrans shall limit Contract Award Bonus (CAB) payments to no more than 1 award per individual DBE.
The contractor(s) must submit a claim for each CAB and provide Caltrans with the following information for verification purposes:
- DBE firm name
- Contract number
- Date submitted
- Bid amount
- Execution date
The contractor(s) shall provide Caltrans with a detailed tracking log that will monitor all projects awarded to DBEs. Caltrans reserves the right to seek additional clarification and/or documentation from the contractor, if needed, to validate the contractor(s)’s CAB claims prior to payment of any funds. Payment for this stage will only be made if Caltrans can substantiate awards to DBEs that the contractor(s) assisted in TS Phase-1 and are currently DBE certified.
Once a participating DBE in the BDP successfully completes Phases 1-3 of the Developmental Stage and completed at least 2 responsive bids in Phase 1 of the Transition Stage, the contractor(s) will conduct a final examination of the DBE’s participation and overall progress in the BDP. This final examination will include a review of the DBE’s business plan and the business’ progress towards the goals and objectives as defined in the plan. This would be a “graduation phase” and represent the business’ completion of the program and the ability to compete in the marketplace.
Caltrans will provide a final report form for the contractor(s), and no business will be considered to have completed the BDP without at least one accepted bid submittal to ensure that the business has obtained at least a basic level of skill to compete in the marketplace.
Additional Supportive Services - Conduct Caltrans Contracting Workshops
Caltrans will also seek contractor(s) to conduct Caltrans Contracting Workshops in specific Caltrans’ Districts statewide.
The contractor(s)’s marketing and promotion of the Caltrans Contracting Workshops shall focus on educating DBEs on the Caltrans contracting process, requirements, and how to expand opportunities for DBE firms to participate on Caltrans FHWA federally funded heavy civil construction and professional services contracts, and the curriculum for the workshop must be pre-approved by Caltrans before the workshop is conducted.
To ensure the value of the workshop, each workshop must have at least 10 certified DBEs participating in the workshop for Caltrans to pay for the workshop. A signed attendance list must be submitted to Caltrans by the contractor(s) along with any invoices for conducting the workshop.
Caltrans will pay the contractor(s) a fixed amount for conducting each workshop, which will include the cost of marketing, developing materials, delivering the training, and travel expenses.