The Ohio River Bridges Project's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs help DBE-eligible businesses identify and access opportunities within the Bridges Project. The DBE programs in both Kentucky and Indiana help pair small, disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned firms with prime contractors, local and state agencies, private companies and other businesses involved in the Bridges Project. These mentoring and assistance relationships allow DBEs to interact with some of the world's leading design and construction firms.
The Kentucky and Indiana programs also help small, disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprises obtain DBE certification. Where possible, the programs also aid firms' determination of pre-qualification requirements and assist in their requests for pre-qualification. These programs are also charged with identifying needs and providing support services that will help strengthen DBE firms and benefit the Louisville-Southern Indiana economy. Extensive networking, education and training opportunities are offered to help DBEs grow in their businesses and their understanding of the industry, as well as help prepare them for opportunities with the Bridges Project.
For details about the Kentucky DBE program, click here.
For details about the Indiana DBE program, click here.
Both states' DBE Programs help qualified companies acquire DBE certification and prequalification status with the state transportation agency, offer business and technical development programs and provide outreach to DBEs for information and resources that foster growth.
The Ohio River Bridges Project requires an element of DBE participation as called for in the project's Memorandum of Agreement (Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 26). It is important to understand that firms must earn both certification, by showing that they are owned and operated by a person who meets the criteria of a disadvantaged business owner (a socio-economic measure), and the Certificate of Eligibility, or prequalification, that certifies the DBE firm can do the work for which it is seeking.
The DBE Program of the Ohio River Bridges Project presents the case for preparation to all certified Kentucky and Indiana DBE firms, offering support and a wide range of resources designed to help them become more competitive.
Ultimately, it is expected that helping businesses prepare for involvement on the Bridges Project will help them earn business on current and future projects. DBEs, the Bridges Project and our region's economy stand to benefit from the success of these programs. To that end, the Kentucky and Indiana DBE programs seek to expand minority participation on the Bridges Project and beyond.