February, 2009 - Vol 1, Issue 1
|Welcome to the First Issue! |
The VTrans DBE Program is pleased to welcome you to the inaugural issue of the DBE E-News. Through this new monthly feature we hope to provide you with the latest information on VTrans contracting, networking, and training opportunities, and introduce you to some of our many successful DBEs, as well as VTrans staff and program partners who offer many supportive services and technical assistance. Our electronic format gives us the ability to provide you with immediate access to a wealth of small business resources and tools.
Each month we will be welcoming our newest DBEs, providing links to useful websites, and offering strategies designed to help all of the Agency's contractors and consultants work smarter.
As we go to press, details of the Stimulus Package are still being negotiated in Washington and Montpelier, but it is widely anticipated that Vermont will receive a significant increase in funding to undertake new transportation infrastructure projects in 2009. We encourage you to utilize the quick links provided throughout this newsletter to stay informed about VTrans contracting and consulting opportunities as they are advertised, and to learn more about upcoming training and networking events. We hope that 2009 will be a busy and successful year for everyone working in the transportation industry, especially all VTrans DBEs.
|DBE Spotlight |
|Linda Labbe, Ryebrook Construction and LY Trucking
East Ryegate, Vermont
Linda Labbe knows the importance of maximizing all of your business opportunities. As the president and controlling owner of two successful DBE companies, Ryebrook Construction, Inc. and LY Trucking, Inc., Linda combines traditional networking with the latest technology to secure subcontracting jobs on many VTrans projects each season. The DBE E-News recently spoke with Linda to learn more about her two companies and her tips for success.
Linda launched Ryebrook in 2004, after gaining 11 years of experience working for two other highway construction companies. Ryebrook employs 5-6 people and provides a broad range of road and bridge construction services, including drainage work, sidewalks, retaining walls, erosion control, and pipe and dirt work. Linda is proud of the company's well-earned reputation for reliability and superior workmanship.
As a small business owner, Linda has become proficient in all aspects of the industry. She is grateful for strong computer skills that enable her to efficiently handle all the paperwork demands, from bid preparations to certified payrolls. But she is equally comfortable out in the field, working side-by-side with her employees, doing the jackhammering, shoveling, lifting, flagging, and pouring cement.
|Gearing Up: Contractor Compliance for Home Office Staff |
It's not too late to register for a free, half day training on all contractor compliance basics, which is being presented by the VTrans Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance on February 6th. The training is specifically designed for all VTrans construction contractors, and will include information on new Davis- Bacon rule changes that went into effect this month. To register click here
or please call: 802-828-2644
|Mandatory Electronic Bidding |
Starting in January 2009 all construction bids need to be submitted to VTrans electronically using the BidX system. Except in very rare circumstances, VTrans no longer accepts paper bids. In order for prime contractors to successfully submit bids they need to subscribe to the BidX system. More information on how to do this is available on the VTrans website: www.aot.state.vt.us/conadmin/ElectronicBidding.htm
|Bid Express Small Business Tab |
New online resource for our construction DBEs! The Small Business Network, a feature of Bid Express provides easy access to VTrans bidding opportunities, historical data on past bids, and the ability to quickly generate quotes to Agency primes. To register and learn more email Colleen Montague
or phone (802) 828-2715.
|VTrans Staff: Dan Peterson, Chief of Contract Administration |
The ENews recently caught up with Dan Peterson, the VTrans Contract Administration Chief.
Dan came to this position a year ago from the VTrans Local Transportation Facilities Program. He currently supervises an office of twelve people who are responsible for all construction and personal service contracting, as well as the processing of grants, cooperative and maintenance rental agreements; and the pre-qualification of construction contractors and consultants.
2009 promises to be a very busy year for transportation contracting, and Dan has been working hard to provide up-to-date information regarding projects for the Economic Stimulus Package under consideration by Congress. Dan describes the evolving package as "big" and "short-term" (probably 3-6 months). As of our publication date, the amount of the stimulus is still under negotiation, but $60 million is a realistic starting point. To give this number context, VTrans generally awards $120 million in projects over an entire year!
In terms of advice for DBEs looking to take advantage of these upcoming projects, Dan expects the media and the VTrans website to simultaneously announce the final stimulus amount and list of projects. He suggests that business owners "keep their ears to the ground" in the next few weeks. Also, the Vermont Business Assistance Network (VBAN) will post contracting opportunities at VTrans and other state agencies: http://www.vermontbidsystem.com/
. An announcement is expected by mid-February. Read More
|Use of Credit Cards to Obtain Construction Bid Packages |
The VTrans Contract Administration section is currently working with the Vermont State Treasurer's Office and TDBanknorth to accept credit card (Visa/MasterCard) payments from contractors for construction bid packages. Payment by cash or check will still be accepted, however those who want to use credit cards will be able to call in their request and the bid package can be sent without having to wait for the payment to arrive by mail. The CA-82 form will still need to be faxed to Contract Administration. This should get the bid packages in the hands of the contactors a few days sooner. Contract Administration hopes to implement the new payment system very soon. Stay tuned!
|Welcome New DBEs|
|D Wilson Consulting Group, LLC
Deirdre D Kyle
309-1 Ponce Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32218
Tel: 904-699-4871 Fax: 904-652-2677
Scope of Work: Management Consulting NAICS Code: 54161
|Ferreira Towing Inc|
Mary Jo Glynn
293 Littleton Road, Rte 110, Chelmsford, MA 01824
Tel: 978-454-7914 Fax: 978-256-8411
Scope of Work: Towing, recovery and repair of automobiles, light, medium and heavy-duty trucks; specialized transportation of construction and heavy equipment. NAICS Code: 488410 and 811111
|Howard Supply Company
29 Lincoln Street, North Weymouth, MA 02191
Tel: (781) 812-3010 Fax: (781) 377-6148
Scope of Work: Procurement of Electrical Supplies; Pipe, Wire and Safety Supplies NAICS Code: 423610
|Information Technology Consulting Corp|
5310 Lexington Woods Lane
Johns Creek, GA 30005
Email: les@ITC2.net Web site: www.ITC2.net
Scope of Work: IT consulting and staffing NAICS Codes: 541511, 541512, 541513, 541519, 541612, 541618, 541690
|Tantara Associates Corporation
54 Mason Street, Worcester, MA 01610-3252
Tel: (508) 752-5599 Fax: (508) 752-1005
Web site: www.tantaracorp.com
Scope of Work: Environmental services; excavation, asbestos abatement, demolition, underground tank removal, soil stabilization, solidification, thermal treatment, RAD, site restoration, mold remediation, removal and disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous materials. NAICS Code: 562910
|Websites We Love|
Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization:
Working Solo for the Small Office/Home Office:
Financial Tools from Montgomery & Merrill:
|Matchmaker Save the Date |
Back by popular demand is the Vermont Small Business/Government Contracting Matchmaker, at the Sheraton Burlington on May 1, 2009. This year's event "Stimulating Green: Navigating the Economic Stimulus & Winning Government Contracts
" will provide small business owners with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from government agencies and prime contractors to find out about specific contracting opportunities in 2009. For more info, please visit: http://www.vtsbdc.org/getcontracts.cfm
|Program Partners: Vermont Women's Business Center (VWBC)|
The DBE E-News recently caught up with Linda Ingold, Director of the Vermont Women's Business Center. Q: Since most our readers are already operating a businesses, tell us about the assistance you offer to established businesses.
A: We offer a wide variety of assistance - from one-on-one counseling to workshops, to networking events, to a lending library. About 25 percent of the women who come to us are already in business. Owners often take advantage of our one-on-one counseling to discuss expanding or taking a new direction in their businesses. We act as a "thinking partner" to help owners assess where they are and where they want to be in the future. Our assistance is free and there is no limit to the amount of assistance provided. Q: We hear that you have a new location
A: Yes. With the closing of Woodbury College in Montpelier, we needed to find a new home. We're just settling into our new offices at 8 South Main Street in Barre and looking forward to our networking luncheons in our new location. Q: Tell us more about the luncheons.
A: Our "brown bag" luncheons are held on the first Monday of each month from 11:30AM-1:30PM at our Barre office (link to: http://www.vwbc.org/events.php). Every month features a speaker and time for informal networking. Upcoming topics include business taxes and services available through the US Postal Service. Q: Do you offer services only in the Central Vermont area?
A: No, we offer assistance statewide through business counselors housed at the five Community Action Agencies. Owners contact us through our Barre office and we help setup meetings anywhere in the State. Q: What training opportunities are you preparing for this spring?
A: We'll be offering website development workshops in Burlington, business development classes in Newport, and pricing and budgeting in Rutland. These will all be listed in our calendar soon (link to: http://www.vwbc.org/calendar.php). Q: What brought you to the VWBC?
Previously, I worked at the Central Vermont Medical Center as the Director of Community Health Improvement. This job involved a lot of outreach to the community and organizing health programming. When the new VWBC opened in 2002, I was hired to find creative ways to outreach to the business community. It was a nice compliment to the work that I had done previously. Q: How would someone contact the VWBC?
A: We are a phone call away - 802.479.9813, or 877.524.1998 or visit our web site
|Vermont Business Development Program|
Helping DBE Businesses develop and implement business plans and increase participation on VTrans federally funded projects.
Businesses selected for the program will receive one-on-one assistance to establish effective marketing strategies, projects, and goals. Space is limited for this new program, please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested in participating.
To learn more about this exciting new program for VTrans certified DBEs attend one of the informational meeting in two locations.
February 18th, 2009
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. VTrans NW Regional Construction Office, South Burlington, VT
February 20th, 2009
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
VTrans, National Life, Montpelier, VT
|Winter 2009 Training Programs for Women and Minorities |
Beginning in February 2009, the VTrans Office of Civil Rights and Labor Compliance, in conjunction with Associated General Contractors of Vermont (AGC-VT) is offering a number of training programs which range in length from one to five days. Eligible, qualified candidates will have the opportunity to take this training at a greatly reduced cost. Training topics include: Basic Carpentry, Beginner Blueprint Reading, First Aid/CPR, Flagger Training, Orientation to Highway Construction, OSHA-10 Hour-Highway and Bridge, Overview of Heavy Equipment, Traffic Control Technician, and What Every Supervisor Should Know About OSHA. Most classes will take place at the Northeast Regional Safety Academy in Montpelier. For more information on these and other AGC classes, please visit: http://www.agcvt.org
or contact Sue Hackney: email@example.com
|Free SBA Loan Clinics |
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a free virtual Business Loan Clinic
to learn about the benefits, requirements, and process for accessing an SBA business loan.
Participate from your office via a conference call. You can hear the presenter on the phone and view the presentation from your computer.
First Tuesday of Every Month
9AM-10AM OR Noon - 1PM
Via telephone conference
1.866.740.1260, access code: 3015001
Online Viewing: www.readytalk.com, access code: 3015001
|Name the E-News |
Working Smarter? Building Opportunities? Inside Track? Hmmm...naming an e-newsletter isn't as easy as you would think! Please help us come up with a catchy name for our new publication. If we use your idea, we'll feature you and your business or organization in a future issue. Email your best suggestions to: Colleen Montague
by March 15, 2009. Thanks!
|February 3rd, 2009
SBA Free Loan Clinic
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
9AM-10AM OR Noon - 1PM
Via telephone conference (read article)
February 6th, 2009
Gearing Up: Contractor Compliance Basics For Home Office Staff
February 10th, 2009
VTrans / AGC Meeting,
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Agency of Transportation, Montpelier, VT
February 12, 2009
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM St Johnsbury, VT
March 11th 2009
VTrans / ACEC Quarterly Meeting
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Agency of Transporation, Montpelier, VT
|May 1st 2009
Stimulating Green: Navigating the Economic Stimulus & Winning Government Contracts
Sheraton Conference Center, So. Burlington VT (read article)
|DBE Spotlight continued |
Linda spotted an opportunity to start LY Trucking, Inc. when she needed to hire tri axle dump trucks for a project in Fayston/Waitsfield. She used the slower winter months to obtain her CDL Class B license, and instead of paying an outside trucking firm, Linda started her own trucking company in 2007. She has been driving her tri axle dump truck on VTrans projects ever since.
Linda juggles the demands of her two businesses by working smarter and using technology wherever she can to stay informed and competitive. Using the information on Bid Express (http://www.aot.state.vt.us/conadmin/ElectronicBidding.htm) and other online sites, she stays up to date on bid opportunities, pricing, etc. This competitive edge has allowed Linda to steadily build the capacity of her companies, and Ryebrook is now prequalified to bid as a prime on VTrans projects.
When asked about her success in a male dominated field, Linda described being capable, yet humble: "I believe I've earned the respect of male workers throughout the industry because they know I'm capable of doing anything and if I don't know, I'm not too proud to ask them how or what I can do to help."
Linda attributes part of her success to taking advantage of the opportunities around her - including a business class at Lyndon State, DBE certifications in Vermont and New Hampshire, SBA HUBZone certification, and business registration in Massachusetts.
Linda's final bit of advice is to work hard at developing strong relationships, "It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation and a minute to destroy it."
Six Steps to Successful Subcontracting
1. Hire experienced key people
2. Acquire needed financing
3. Purchase equipment used day-to-day
4. Purchase insurance for your company and employees
5. Hire a competent accountant
6. Introduce your company to prime contractors regularly
| VTrans Staff Interview cont.|
The VTrans Contract Administration
webpage contains a wealth of information for DBEs looking to become more active on VTrans projects. For construction contractors looking ahead at possible opportunities, the Agency regularly updates an 18 month Anticipated Advertising Schedule
Links to currently advertised projects and RFPs, bid results, recent awards, etc. are listed below, and should be consulted frequently, especially as VTrans hopes to enter a period of unprecedented activity on transportation stimulus projects.
Dan encourages DBEs to take advantage of becoming prequalified
to bid as primes. For construction contractors the process involves financial review and allows businesses to bid up to a certain dollar amount
For consultants, submit SF Form 330
to Contract Administration.Unlike contractor prequalification, the consultant process doesn't judge a firm's capacity.
Some significant changes are taking place in Contract Administration: As of January 1, 2009, VTrans has moved to mandatory electronic bidding
on construction contracts. Fortunately, the VTrans DBE Program has received an FHWA grant to assist DBEs in becoming proficient with this process, and to provide a subscription at no cost to the web-based system, Bid Express (BidX
), which includes the tools available on the BidX Small Business Network, such as historic bid analysis.All VTrans certified DBEs working on construction projects are encouraged to sign up for free BidX training and to start accessing this service ASAP by contacting the VTrans DBE Program Manager: Colleen Montague
Thank you for taking the time to read our first issue!
Hopefully we were able to provide some really useful information and links. Our aim to is make the newsletter as informative and relevant as possible for our readers. To help us achieve this we need your input! Please email me
your comments, suggestions, ideas and questions you might like answered in future issues.
The newsletter has truly been a collaborative effort and my sincere thanks to our consultant Diane Meyerhoff of Third Sector Associates and Lori Valburn, Chief of Civil Rights, VTrans for all their help, articles and hard work that went into publishing our first issue of the DBE e-newsletter.
Colleen Montague ●DBE Program Manager ● Vermont Agency of Transporation
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ● Tel: (802) 828-2715