Staff from the Alabama A&M University Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services (DBE/SS) attended the recent 2011 Southern Transportation Civil Rights Training Symposium in Atlanta, Ga. Partly owing to AAMU’s DBE/SS staffers and those at select colleges and universities around the state, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) was awarded the “Best Practices” distinction during the awards luncheon.
The important award also acknowledges the new and innovative ideas put to use
by ALDOT-funded DBE supportive providers (i.e., AAMU, Alabama State University, Stillman College, Tuskegee University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham). The AAMU DBE/SS unit, for instance, introduced the “DBE 101 Orientation” and an “Informational Forum” during the 2009-2010 and the 2010-2011 contract periods.
Moreover, the AAMU team’s orientation effort gave newly certified firms useful information about the benefits and responsibilities of certification. The forum presented a networking tool to allow DBE firms a chance to meet procurement officers from agencies having DBE goals. The procurement officers also provided information on their agency’s bidding process and upcoming bidding opportunities.
In addition to its role in the “Best Practices” award, the AAMU DBE/SS program has learned it will receive federal and state funds from the Federal Highway Administration and ALDOT, respectively, to provide two distinct programs to DBE
firms statewide. The Executive Management Program will help build business capacity of selected mid-level DBE firms through the enhancement of strategic management techniques and business leadership skills, while the Business Development Program will assist DBE firms statewide in the development of business management skills through classroom training, technical assistance and counseling. The programs will be implemented through workshops and technical assistance.
For additional information on AAMU DBE/SS program, call Dr. Teresa M. Orok, executive director of the Small Business Development Center, (256) 372-8667, or Kim Vincent, assistant director, DBE Supportive Services Program, at (256) 372-5681.
Caption: Dr. Teresa Merriweather Orok and Kim Vincent
by Jerome Saintjones