U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta announced that eight organizations from across the country will partner with the U.S. DOT to provide information about contracting opportunities to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) for the next 12 months. They are located in Atlanta; Orlando; Seattle/Tacoma; New York; Milwaukee; Chicago; Oakland; and Washington, D.C.
The eight organizations are called TEAMs (Transportation Equity Act Model).
"Entrepreneurship is the path to prosperity for many Americans, including minorities and women, and the Bush administration wants to create an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish," Mineta said. "These TEAMs will greatly help the department's continuing efforts to extend our reach to disadvantaged business enterprises and to increase their chances of success."
The purpose of TEAMs is to help the U.S. DOT's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) find contract opportunities for small businesses on large projects funded by DOT and other DOT-related contracting opportunities. The OSDBU tries to increase small, minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business participation in OSDBU financial assistance programs and contracting opportunities around the nation.
DOT enters into cooperative agreements with chambers of commerce, trade associations, business organizations and for-profit entities to represent the OSDBU and the small-business community at the local level.
Specifically, TEAMs try to increase the number of small and disadvantaged businesses that enter into transportation-related contracts, increase the number of firms that receive surety bonds and working capital through OSDBU's financial assistance programs, and increase the number of businesses participating in hands-on training in order to become more successful at winning contracts.