HARRISBURG — The Wolf administration today announced that the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is aiming to increase opportunities for Small Business Enterprises (SBE) through a new pilot program where SBEs can compete to work as prime consultants on federally-assisted engineering and design agreements on at least six projects.

“We are committed to increasing opportunities for small, disadvantaged, and diverse businesses, and this pilot program is another step forward,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “This program aims to provide opportunities to expand expertise and the pool of potential firms for future department work.”

The Small Business Set Aside pilot program currently includes preliminary engineering and final design for three projects:

• A bridge replacement over South Witmer Run on Route 3005 in Irvona Borough, Clearfield County;

• A bridge replacement over Marshall Run on Route 3007 in Conemaugh Township, Indiana County;

• And replacing a bridge over Leaf Creek on Route 2057 in Amity and Douglass townships, Berks County.

At least three more projects will be advertised to the private sector this fall. The department will evaluate how many SBEs submit a statement of interest, whether a contract is awarded to a SBE, and work results. The department may expand the program in the future depending on the pilot-program results.

There are currently 413 businesses certified by PennDOT as a SBE. SBEs must meet U.S. Small Business Administration size standards and submit a completed application to PennDOT for certification to participate in federally assisted transportation projects. Interested firms may review requirements and pursue certification through the department’s SBE database at www.dotsbe.pa.gov.

Under the pilot program, a SBE must be the prime consultant on the agreement, however, other companies can be added as sub-consultants. Interested SBEs must perform at least 50 percent of the contracted work and must be registered as a business partner in the department’s Engineering and Construction Management System (ECMS). ECMS will be used for firms to present qualifications and submit a statement of interest and advertisements for anticipated projects will be posted in the system under “Solicitation” as they become available.

More information on the department’s programs and efforts in Equal Opportunity Employment and diverse business opportunities is available at www.penndot.gov in “Bureau of Equal Opportunity” under “About Us.”

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