05 29 2016
  2:39 am  
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Small businesses often face the daunting task of being "bondable." When it comes to working on government contracts in the transportation industry, being bonded is often a requirement. Now, a free six-week workshop will help small business owners in Oregon and southwest Washington find out just what it takes to become bonded and how to expand their existing bonding capacity. The free, 3-hour evening courses begin Oct. 4 at the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs Center, 4134 N. Vancouver Ave. in Portland.

The Oregon Department of Transportation requested the workshop after learning of its successful pilot in Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta in 2010. The Bonding Education Program (BEP), a partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation/Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, the Surety & Fidelity Association of America, and a host of local stakeholders, consists of educational workshops and bond readiness sessions.

The educational component offers an introductory session and five comprehensive workshops, each providing information related to improving a small contractor's operations – with a goal of making it easier to be bonded or to increase bonding capacity. A final workshop focuses on networking and next steps.

The bond readiness component consists of one-on-one interactions with surety bond producers, underwriters and other professionals who work with the contractors on a case-by-case basis in assembling the materials necessary for a complete bond application and in addressing any omissions and/or deficiencies that might deter the successful underwriting of a bond.

The classes qualify for Construction Contractors Board license continuing education for Commercial and Residential contractors under the "elective" category. See the Construction Contractors Board Education page for additional information.

For questions, contact Lily Keeffe, U.S. DOT/Northwest Small Business Transportation Resource Center, 425-248-4222 or lkeefe@snoedc.org.

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