The Business Development Center (BDC), at the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), is a vital part of the Office of Business Development and Special Programs. The BDC provides programs and services to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, as well as Small Business Enterprises (SBE) that have been certified through the South Carolina Unified Certification Program (SCUCP).
In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the major objective of the BDC is to assist firms with becoming more competitive in the transportation industry. This is accomplished through the offering of various services for firms seeking to participate in SCDOT pre-construction and construction related projects.
Staffed by SCDOT employees who are highly skilled and experienced, the BDC offers a variety of services which include: financial management assistance (bonding and loan), marketing assistance to include development of business and marketing plans, training and business development, special events, bid information, bidding and contract assistance, as well as on-site technical project consultation.
Specific business and technical courses are designed to provide a curriculum that offers firms an opportunity to increase their performance by developing skills that are critical to the day-to-day operations of the business. Courses are determined by surveys, focus groups and interviewing small business owners who are successful in today's marketplace. An annual training catalog is developed and disseminated to all certified firms. Training programs are offered at SCDOT Headquarters and regional locations across South Carolina. The most recent Training Catalog is posted on the SCDOT website. The training curriculum changes each year to meet business firms' needs and includes orientation sessions on "Doing Business with SCDOT", as well as other business and technical programs. The following are samples of programs offered by the BDC:
The Entrepreneurial Development Institute (EDI) is an intensive training program that offers a progressive, well developed curriculum presented by trained professionals who bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the program. EDI is classroom training that provides practical solutions, networking opportunities and creative methods for preparing business firms to become more competitive and successful in the transportation industry. Program objectives include providing meaningful job-specific training; build the skill level and confidence of the minority and female entrepreneurs; introduce technology; develop a support network among firms and to increase awareness within the transportation industry for successful growth and development of contractor.
The DBE "Training Tuition Assistance Program" (TTA) is designed for eligible South Carolina DBE firms, certified through the SC Unified Certification Program to provide financial assistance for training with the intent of developing the educational skill levels of employees, improving job-related or career-related capabilities; and thereby, enhancing the firm's capacity. Areas qualifying for training assistance include, but are not limited to, technical and management development programs, seminars and certifications. Only "key" employees whose decisions directly impact the day-to-day operations of the business will be approved for participation.
Tuition assistance is made in the form of a reimbursement for the registration fee. Requested assistance must be directly related to the training, which will enhance the firm's business skills allowing the firm to compete more successfully in the highway transportation industry. Denial of tuition assistance is at the final discretion of the Department.
Training Tuition Assistance Policy and Forms (PDF 52 Kb)
The DBE Technical Assistance Liaisons (DTALs) are responsible for minimizing constraints and barriers encountered by DBE firms while performing work on SCDOT contracts. This includes interacting with prime contractors, subcontractors and SCDOT representatives to review DBE work performance. DTALS directly assist DBEs in the areas of:
The Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) sponsored by SCDOT, and in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is designed to create a more competitive and diverse pool of contractors who participate on transportation projects. By pairing an emerging certified DBE firm with successful professional service providers and general contractors who contract with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the MPP allows the Protégé to receive the benefit of the Mentor's knowledge and experience.
The objectives of the Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) are to:
Mentor Protégé Program Brochure (PDF 1.97 Mb)