Contractor Resource Center Opening to Connect Small Businesses with Large Firm Construction Projects
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
Industry––new and old––in the Coastal Bend is big business. The growth of industry with large companies expanding and new ones coming into the area means a $50 billion impact to the region’s economy, and construction needs spells O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y for small business owners seeking to become contractors with large firms.
So, how do small businesses connect with big industry?
Del Mar College’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is initiating a new program, the Contractor Resource Center (CRC), which will prepare and connect area small businesses with large, multi-year construction projects by expanding their capabilities to compete in the commercial arena for current and future projects.
Existing businesses taking advantage of the CRC means increased competency and capabilities that are documented and ready to share with incoming industry. Working with our new program will support existing local companies to become better prepared to bid on fast-moving incoming projects and provide them with information about upcoming commercial opportunities.
To familiarize small businesses with the new program, the SBDC is holding a kickoff event on Wednesday, April 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Room 106 at the Center for Economic Development (3209 S. Staples). The event features a program overview about CRC services, a networking luncheon and an industry panel with representatives from Chemours, Zachry and Bay Ltd. discussing the process of doing business with their large companies, along with a Q&A session.
The kickoff event is FREE, but registration is required due to limited seating. To register, go online at utsa.ecenterdirect.com/events/29501. Questions may be directed to the SBDC at 361-698-2422.
Funding for the CRC came from the Corpus Christi Business and Jobs Development Corporation (CCBJDC) Incentive Fund approved by the Type A Board appointed by the Corpus Christi City Council, which provided $133,000 for program development and operation for one year with another two optional years for funding. The CCBJDC Incentive Fund is administered by the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation (CCREDC).
Small businesses can expect one-on-one advising that covers challenging areas where they need assistance, including quality management systems, standards/certifications, health and safety education, insurance/bonding, human resources management, financial management, contractor qualifications/scope of work, marketing to industry and guidance on joint ventures. The CRC will provide training seminars that address the needs of businesses in commercial contracting areas as well as give small business owners access to the Plan Room where they’ll find bids and specs for many local commercial contracts, including information from Dodge Reports and Builder’s Exchange.
The CRC will also develop and maintain a “Contractor Readiness List” to provide to the CCREDC upon request to share with local industry and incoming large firms.
“Del Mar College is excited about offering this new program to provide new and growing businesses the opportunity to work with larger more diverse businesses,” says Dan Korus, dean of the College’s Workforce Programs and Corporate Services Division. “Our overall goal is to help local small businesses clear hurdles and land larger contracts and opportunities that will affect our communities’ economic growth by increasing business revenues, jobs and sales tax revenues.”
Fierova adds, “We want to create a highly competent and competitive commercial business base in the Coastal Bend and ensure local small businesses meet the capabilities and preparedness levels to capture local opportunities, keeping our dollars at home.”
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.