It's no secret that the construction industry is grappling with a diversity problem. As of 2021, just 9.9% of construction professionals were women, 6.2% were Black, and 2% were Asian.
This is why it's so important to participate in initiatives that encourage diversity in construction. The disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) program is a prime example of this, along with other subcategories, such as Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), and more. There are also non-DBE categories, such as local programs.
It is increasingly common for owners to contractually require that a certain percentage of project costs be awarded to specific business enterprises. And we can expect this to continue, thanks to the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which would dedicate billions of dollars to diverse suppliers. It’s the right time to get certified if you haven’t already.
If you're a subcontractor belonging to any of the groups mentioned above, it's important to get certified and promote your credentials so you can win more work.
And here's the good news: with Certification Tracking in BuildingConnected, you can increase your company’s visibility and get yourself in front of more General Contractors. This feature enables you to add all your certificates to your company profile so you get invited to relevant jobs where you’ll have an edge on the competition.
All updates to your business enterprise certificates are available to the Builders Network, made up of over 1.5 million contractors.
DBE requirements vary depending on the government agency and location. You can figure out the proper steps by entering your city or state into a search engine like Google with the key phrase "DBE certification." There are specialists, non-profits, and consultants who can help you with the paperwork. Start by looking at how to get certified with your local government procurement agencies and then move up to state level agencies. Many states have unified certification program that make it easy to be certified for publicly funded jobs.
Having certifications unlocks several benefits for subcontractors. These include:
Stand out against the competition. Proudly displaying your business enterprise certifications makes you more noticeable. This is your chance to elevate your profile in a crowded and competitive market.
Win more work. Adding your business enterprise certifications helps you get in front of GCs looking to diversify their suppliers. As such, you're able to increase your chances of landing more jobs.
Take part in more government projects. Since the DBE program is government-led, being certified opens additional opportunities to win work in the public sector. And with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act well underway, you can expect more government-related projects to hit the market. As such, now is the perfect time to obtain and promote your DBE certifications.
Win more work with the nation’s leading companies. It’s not just public jobs. Big companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are increasing their efforts to engage with DBE suppliers and requiring GCs to contract with DBE suppliers.
The construction industry is brimming with potential and opportunities. Put yourself in the best position to thrive by acquiring all relevant certifications and including those certificates in your profile.
Need more info on how to do just that? Check out how Certification Tracking works in BuildingConnected.