Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott and Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Jason W. Mitchell announced the DPW Unbundling Initiative, a program to mentor Baltimore-based diverse and small businesses and prepare them to compete on their own as general or prime contractors.
The DPW Unbundling Initiative will expand the capacity of Baltimore’s local and diverse contractor community to compete as general or prime contractors for the Department’s water and wastewater utility contracts. On large DPW and other city contracts, small businesses tend to serve as subcontractors to general contractors.
The initiative builds on DPW’s current efforts, the Small Business Development (SBD) Training Program, to prepare small businesses how to do business with the City.
It will consist of a two-phase process to create opportunities for 10 Baltimore-based Small Minority- and Women- Owned businesses to get one-the-job training in Utility Contracts and construction management supports.
On an upcoming water utility construction contract, DPW will use the approved Design Build Alternative Procurement Method to require the prime contractor to train small businesses and to provide them with support. This contract will require that the prime provide training and mentoring to the participating small businesses.
To build the capacity of small businesses, the DPW Unbundling Initiative will seek to train local contractors to serve as general contractors with the capacity to serve as the lead or prime contractor on DPW utility contracts, build and grow the capacity of Baltimore based small businesses by providing on-the-job training, provide administrative support and safety monitoring and provide access to bonding and working capital.
During the second phase of the initiative, DPW and other city agencies are expected to create appropriately-size contract opportunities to match the capability and capacity of the newly trained general contractors.
DPW plans a series of outreach efforts to reach small business owners who may be eligible to participate in this initiative. Small, local, and minority businesses are encouraged to attend the upcoming Face Time with the Primes, a networking event to learn about opportunities to engage in Baltimore projects.