On Monday, twenty small businesses started their first session of the ‘Rebuild Ready’ training program for 2020.
The local twenty design and construction businesses will be looking to gain new skills to rebuild projects, according to a press release. The Rebuild Ready program was made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. Rebuild Ready is a citywide investment to improve rec centers, neighborhood parks and libraries.
“There is an incredibly talented pool of small, diverse contractors in Philadelphia,” Rebuild Ready Executive Director Kira Strong said in a press release.
Strong continued, “As Rebuild looks to expand the number of minority and women contractors working with the City, it is incumbent on us to encourage more small businesses to consider bidding for Rebuild Ready contracts. Rebuild Ready offers diverse Philadelphia firms the specific skills they need to bid for and win work on Rebuild and other City contracts.”
The program launched in May 2019, and since then, 43 local businesses have graduated from the program with newly acquired skill sets to compete for public works contracts. Rebuild Ready is a partnership with The Enterprise Center and Surety Bond Associates. It helps with technical assistance focused on different areas of business.
A press release states that it focuses on the below areas of construction:
-Estimating, bid preparation, and contract negotiation.
-Cash flow management.
-Finance and accounting.
According to a recent report, this program is on track to exceed or meet its contract and workforce participation goals. Diversity goals include that 25-30 percent of professional service contracts go to minorities and that 15 to 20 percent go to women.
As regards construction contracts, the goal is to have 30-35 percent of spending go to minority firms, and 15-20 percent to women-owned businesses.
Rebuild Ready is one of the two, free business support programs in Philly. The other is the Emerging Vendors Program (EVP). A press release states that, “The Emerging Vendors Program allows previously uncertified minority- or women-owned businesses to count toward participation goals on Rebuild projects while working toward certification. Participants have access to free support in obtaining certification.”
There are 18 businesses involved within that program.