The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services Program is designed to assist DBE heavy highway construction and consulting firms working on heavy highway projects to compete and perform on federally funded heavy highway construction projects. The Program provides reimbursements for the cost of items such as technical training, registration fees for industry related events/seminars, membership fees, software and/or software licenses, financial audit/reviews (up to $7,000), books, lodging, tuition expenses, and one-on-one consulting services (up to $7,000).
The Federal Highway Administration has informed the ODOT DBE Supportive Services Reimbursement Program that it will fund the program again for the federal fiscal year 2019 starting October 1, 2018. However, FHA has not provided a date for the funding.
ODOT DBE Supportive Services will not be accepting reimbursement requests until the funding from FHA is received. ODOT has stated that no email requests or website request submissions will be responded to or processed until they notify firms that funding has been received. ODOT DBE Supportive Services has deactivated the reimbursement request submittal (links on the website) until the funding is received.
ODOT DBE Supportive Services Reimbursement guidelines have been updated as of October 1, 2018 to decrease funding amounts to $7,000 from $10,000 in order to support a larger pool of DBE companies. Funding is available on a first come, first served basis.
DBE firms must be currently bidding or “interested in bidding” on ODOT heavy highway construction or engineering federally-assisted projects in order to obtain DBE supportive services. In order to be “interested in bidding” on projects, DBE entities must do one of the following:
- Be participating in meetings with ODOT representatives (having meetings on the calendar, or participated in meetings within the last three months) in order to discuss potential upcoming projects;
- Be currently participating in the ODOT Mentor Protégé Program;
- Be attending ODOT outreach events, training/educational sessions, or bootcamp orientation within the last six months;
- Be submitting bids or letters of interest (within the last six months).