Doing Business with South Carolina Department of Transportation

Business Development Center

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.

Education & Training

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:

  • SCDOT Blue Print Reading
  • Construction Bidding & Estimating (Levels I & II)
  • Quickbooks and Quickbooks Contractor's Edition
  • Advanced Marketing Techniques
  • Financial Seminar for Small Businesses
  • Work Zone Traffic Control
  • OSHA 10 Hour Safety Training Certification
  • Commercial Driver's License Training (CDL)

2016-2017 DBE Training Calendar (PDF 3.19 Mb)

Entrepreneurial Development Institute (EDI)

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.

Training Tuition Assistance Program (TTA)

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)

DBE Technical Assistance Program

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:

  • Ensuring that the work in place is compliance with safety codes, general statutes, standard specifications and details.
  • Ensuring work performed is consistent with regulatory standards of construction infrastructure for construction of new roadways, bridges, culverts and utilities.
  • Act as liaison/advocate for DBE contractors.
  • Investigate concerns of DBE contractors and aids in the resolution of conflicts.
  • DTALS assist DBEs with approval of work, processing pay applications, payment issues, specifications and scheduling conflicts.
  • Advise DBE firms on upcoming bid awards and project schedules, and assist DBEs with submittal requirements and other documentation.
  • Ensure DBEs have obtained/prepared a "Schedule of Values" and assist by facilitating the implementation of a CPM schedule.
  • Provide assistance to Spanish-speaking Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals (DBEs) with written and spoken translations/interpretations.
  • Provide technical expertise, as it relates to relevant SCDOT sponsored training events.
When necessary, DTALs serve as department liaisons on relevant SCDOT matters with federal organizations, construction firms and other stakeholders. DTALs' services are designed to help DBE firms become more competitive in the transportation industry and increase DBE participation on SCDOT preconstruction & construction projects.

Mentor Protégé Program (MPP)

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:

  • Promote the development of business management and technical skills for certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) to compete more successfully.
  • Assist certified DBEs with acquiring greater access to business support systems that facilitate growth and development.
  • Provide the protege with guidance, technical support, as well as the benefit of the mentor's expertise and experience.

Mentor Protégé Program Brochure (PDF 1.97 Mb)

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