Angela Watkins, MCA, manages the Port of Portland Small Business Development Program (SBDP). The SBDP consists of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, The Mentor Protégé Program, and the Small Business Participation Initiative. Watkins is also responsible for MWESB/DBE outreach, oversight of all small business goals in contracting, purchasing, and airport concessions.
She says she works to build small businesses in the metro region through education, mentoring, and training.
"My vision for this position is to be the premier program preparing certified firms to compete in any economic market and understand what truly will make their business successful –understanding all aspects of your business," says Watkins.
When awarding contracts, she says she is looking for contractors/consultants that have knowledge of the Portland Airport project and have an idea of the security policies of the airport. In general, she looks for small businesses to have knowledge of their industry and have their "business financials in order".
"Bottom line, our goal in this program is to increase access and ensure small businesses are included and they are ready, willing and able to participate on any public improvement project," says Watkins. "The Mentor Protégé Program is a good way to build relationships with decision-makers and gain access to projects from public/private partners."