The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has proposed changes to its requirements for disadvantaged-business enterprises (DBEs), which include firms owned by women and minorities. DOT’s longstanding goal is to have at least 10% of highway and other construction funds go to DBEs. DOT says its plan, published in the Federal Register on May 10, would make it easier for a firm to be certified a DBE in more than one state. The proposal aims to make state agencies more accountable by requiring those that do not meet DBE targets to examine why that happened and come up with ways to achieve
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.