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Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

Port Authority of Allegheny County spends millions of dollars each year on the purchase of parts, supplies and services in support of its daily operations. In addition, regular contracts are available for major construction projects, such as busway and light rail construction, as well as renovation and expansion of existing facilities.

As part of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO), Port Authority's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program is committed to creating opportunity for disadvantaged business owners. To benefit from the program, businesses must successfully complete an application for certification. Goals have been established in support of the program and available purchasing opportunities. These goals reflect participation levels that have been exceeded by minority- and women-owned firms. Each year, goals for DBE participation in all purchasing activities have expanded.

What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations Part 26.5, a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise is defined as a for-profit small business concern that (a) is at least 51 percent owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, or, in the case of a corporation, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; and (b) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

The federal government expanded the definition of socially and economically disadvantaged individuals to include women.

Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals are defined as individuals who are citizens of the United States (or legal permanent residents) and who are individuals in the following groups, presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged:

  • Black Americans: Persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • Hispanic Americans: Persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central or South American, or other Spanish or Portuguese culture or origin, regardless of race.
  • Native Americans: Persons who are American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts or Native Hawaiians.
  • Asian-Pacific Americans: Persons whose origins are from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Samoa, Guam, the U.S. territories of the Pacific, the Northern Marianas, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Burma, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia or Hong Kong.
  • Subcontinental Asian Americans: Persons whose origins are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives Islands, Nepal or Sri Lanka
  • Women
  • Any additional groups whose members are designated as socially and economically disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration.
  • Tribally owned concern: Any concern at least 51 percent owned by a Native American tribe.

Certification of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

To ensure this program benefits only Disadvantaged Business Enterprises which are owned and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more minorities or women, all firms wishing to participate as DBEs for Port Authority contracts must be certified by the Authority.

Any firm seeking to be certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise may do so by requesting an application of certification (revised November 3, 2014) PDF from the DBE Officer.

Port Authority of Allegheny County DBE Program Objectives:

Port Authority of Allegheny County, in compliance with 49 CFR Part 26, as amended (Regulations), implements a number of positive affirmative action procedures to ensure disadvantaged business enterprises, contractors, suppliers, consultants, etc., have an equal opportunity to compete for and perform on Port Authority contracts. Affirmative action procedures shall be consistent with sound planning, construction, procurement principles, laws, regulations and policies.

The DBE Program is established to create a level playing field on which DBEs can compete fairly and to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of all DOT-assisted contracts. The DBE Program is tailored in accordance with all applicable laws. Firms that fully meet the eligibility standards of the program are entitled to participate as DBEs.

Port Authority is committed to the removal of barriers that confront DBEs in the United States Department of Transportation-assisted contracts and to assist in the development of firms that can compete successfully in the marketplace outside the DBE Program. Furthermore, Port Authority will strive to provide appropriate flexibility to recipients of United States Department of Transportation financial assistance programs that establish and provide opportunities for DBEs.

During Fiscal Year 2018 through 2020, Port Authority of Allegheny County proposes to implement the following goal for its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program for the period October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2020 as follows:
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation goal is 14.985 percent. of federal contract opportunities will go to Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms.  A race conscious goal of 13.945 percent and a race neutral goal of 1.04 percent will be tracked to make up the overall 14.985 percent.
A description of how the goal was calculated is available for inspection by appointment until July 28, 2017between the hours of 8:00 A.M. to 4P.M. in the office of Cameil D. Williams, Program Manager, Diverse and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

Port Authority of Allegheny County
345 Sixth Avenue, Third Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2527

Port Authority will accept comments to this goal until July 28, 2017 at Noon.  Address all comments to Ms. Cameil D. Williams Program Manager, Diverse and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, at the above address.

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