In conjunction with the federal holiday that celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is celebrating 10 years of its Small Business Development Program (SBDP), which has provided minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) with mentoring and capacity building opportunities surpassing all other agencies in the transportation industry.
The program has awarded 455 contracts amounting to $480 million and more than 11,520 jobs created or maintained.
The idea to provide both classroom and field training to small contractors in minority and disadvantaged communities was embraced by MTA leadership upon the program’s inception. New York State legislation was secured to provide the approval and funding for the program in 2010 and it was just renewed for another decade. SBDP gives smaller construction firms an opportunity to do work as a prime, giving them the experience, the technical training and the support of larger construction firms. In the years to follow, New York State raised it goals for MWBE state contracting utilization, now at 30 percent, changing the paradigm for small business procurement in minority and disadvantaged communities.
“The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: ‘The time is always right to do what is right’. His words and wisdom remain as relevant and important today as our country continues to reckon with racial injustice and an unprecedented public health crisis,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “We must all strive to match Dr. King’s commitment to equality and his desire to create a better world for all.”
“Having the ability to take taxpayer-funded projects and award contracts in an inclusive manner to a pool of businesses who have historically been shut out is true social justice and economic empowerment,” said MTA Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Michael J. Garner. “The principles of Dr. King are extolled here in the State of New York, and at the MTA, as we continue to invest in these often-excluded diverse entrepreneurs.”
Garner is appearing in a PBS special on Monday entitled New York State Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Civil Rights Then and Now.
“The Program allows small businesses to control their own destinies through mentorship and unprecedented contract opportunities,” said MTA Deputy Chief Diversity Officer, Small Business Development Program George Cleary. “When we provide minority entrepreneurs with the tools to grow, we are contributing to their success and to the economic development of the region.”
The Small Business Development Program is organized into two integrated parts: Construction Management Mentoring Services and Business Development Technical Assistance. The program works closely with each mentoring contractor through four-year Tier 1 and four-year Tier 2 state and locally funded MTA projects. Once the training is completed, contractors graduate into the MTA Small Business Federal Program (SBFP), a three-year program that was approved in 2012 enabling participating contractors to bid on and win larger projects and grow their businesses significantly.
The Tier 1 Mentoring Program partners emerging firms with one of the industry’s largest construction management and mentoring firms, TDX Construction. Tier 1 provides general business, organizational and professional skills development along with access to working capital and experience working with MTA construction projects from $25,000 to $1 million.
The advanced Tier 2 Program provides further business plan development, access to working capital and insurance, bond assistance, and assistance working on MTA contracts up to $3 million.
In the SBFP, contractors work on federally funded projects and are also encouraged to bid on other projects outside of the Program in the MTA and with non-MTA agencies. Projects outside of the Program include East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway, and Fix and Fortify projects throughout New York City.
Recent graduates of the Small Business Federal Program include:
- Adam Developers Enterprises, Inc.
- All Phase Solutions, LLC
- Apex Building Company, Inc.
- Arch Builders & Developers, Inc.
- CM&E Con, Inc.
- Earth Construction Corp.
- Elit Green Builders Corp.
- Gem – Quality Corporation
- Hibuild, LLC
- Kapris, Inc.
- KG Construction Services, Inc.
- Kore Contracting Corp.
- Kunj Construction Corp.
- Levest Electric Corp
- Litehouse Builders, Inc.
- Lo Magno Construction, Inc.
- Bhuiyan Construction Company, Inc.
- Masterpiece U.S., Inc.
- Maxxum Construction Corp.
- Minhas Construction Corp.
- Monpat Construction, Inc.
- Nagi Construction Company
- Nehal Contracting, Inc.
- Pmy Construction Corp.
- Riggs Construction Company, Inc.
- Robert Parchment Plumbing And Heating, Inc.
- Silverlands Construction
- Skyline Industries, LLC
- Streamline Construction
- The Urban Group, Ltd.
- Ultima Construction, Inc.
- Venus Group, Inc.
- Verdugos General Contractors
- Voltamp Electrical Contractors, Inc.
- XBR, Inc.
- Zaman Construction Corp.
- Zion Contracting, LLC
Zion Contracting, LLC completed the Federal Program in 2019, receiving more than $17 million in contract awards since starting SBDP and 411 jobs. Projects throughout Tier 1, Tier 2 and the Federal Program included repair and restoration work on the Queens Midtown Tunnel, rehabilitation of the roof and enclosures at NYCT Gates Avenue Ridgewood Substation in Brooklyn, and concrete repairs at LIRR Lynbrook Station Viaduct.
“The MTA has provided opportunities to small contractors like never before in the state of New York, by allowing us to bid directly as prime contractors on MTA contracts. This innovative idea to put our future in our own hands has helped us grow greatly and has expanded our vision of the future,” said Hely Duarte, President of Zion Contracting, LLC.
Malcom Patrick Corporation is a construction firm enrolled in the Small Business Federal Program since 2019. Through the MTA SBDP, the company has received more than $10.7 million in contract awards with 256 jobs created through the program. Through Tier 2, the general contractor received a $3 million prime contract by the Long Island Rail Road to rehabilitate the Morris Park Communications Building in Richmond Hill.
“The SBDP has given Malcolm Patrick Corp. the opportunity to compete for government projects on a level playing field. It has granted us invaluable experience that will set us in a new success path after graduating from the program,” said Cleve Taylor, President of Malcom Patrick Corp.
Out of 97 New York State agencies and public authorities, the MTA ranks number one in dollars paid to New York State-certified MWBEs — paying $772 million to these businesses during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This represents nearly 28% of all payments on State-issued contracts and 25% of all MWBE payments by the State of New York to NYS certified MWBEs.
To learn more about the MTA’s Small Business Development Program, please visit here.
To learn more about the MTA’s Minority, Women-Owned Business Enterprise and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (M/WBE/SDVOB) Program, please visit here.