As director of the GACO, California University of Pennsylvania, Wojcik assists businesses with contracting on the federal, state and local levels.
To conduct business with the state of Pennsylvania, Heitzman reiterated the significance of certification. “Companies need to be PA Certified to conduct business with PennDOT.” He explained that Certified DBEs interested in participating in PennDOT’s highway construction projects are eligible to receive a broad range of services from the DBE Supportive Services Center at no charge. Services include, but are not limited to access to trainings and workshops, technical support, business development & management, networking with industry professionals and state agencies.
A shared initiative of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and PennDOT, the agencies mission is to provide services that will enable highway applicable DBEs to acquire the proficiency, expertise and experience necessary to compete, on an equal basis, with non-DBEs for federally-assisted PennDOT highway contracts and subcontracts.
Reflecting on his many years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Spencer rounded up the morning panel discussion by advising to do what you say and to do it well. “I have done all the things you are being told to do. I thought I was prepared. But I can tell you it is a lot of hard work, but a great opportunity at the end of the game.” His suggestions to businesses interested in obtaining government contracts is to network, be willing to redefine yourself, to look at doing business on a global level, to listen, and to surround oneself with good information and people.
Spencer, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force is the owner of Randall Enterprises, LLC which consist of a real estate development and services company. A strong believer in giving back to the community he says his company was established to provide affordable housing and job opportunities for the less fortunate. Randall Industries, a manufacturer of chemical products is slated to be one of the largest minority owned chemical manufacturing companies in the United States.
A second highlight of the event was the 2013 Hall of Fame induction. “This is always my favorite part of the program,” said Paula B. Castleberry, Minority/Women Busines
s Coordinator of Pittsburgh Public Schools as she introduced the recipients. Awardees were Barbara Fisher who retired from the SBA last year and Kathleen Agostino, Small and Disadvantaged Business Coordinator of the Mascaro Construction Company, LP.
“I thank God for a 32 year career,” Fisher said. “As I review my career I can say that it was a great experience and I am thankful and grateful for it.”
Pleased to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Agostino pointed out that the MWDBE Governmental Committee is a great group to work with. “We all work toward one goal. Small business is critical to this region, particularly to the construction industry.”
Monica Jones, Manager of the DBE Department of the Allegheny County Airport Authority and Bowers were also awarded for their commitment to the group throughout the years.
Happy with the turnout of close to 275 attendees and more than 70 exhibitors for the trade fair, Duvall Aiken, of Community College of Allegheny County and Chair of the MWDBE Governmental Committee said the numbers and the increase in sponsorship indicates the importance of the event.
The mission of the 22-member MWDBE Governmental Committee is to create effective methods that strengthen economic opportunities for Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and to provide assistance enabling contractors and businesses to secure contracts in the goods and service, construction and professional services markets leading to profitability and growth for the businesses.