Library Launches City’s First Mentor-Protégé Program
The DC Public Library, in partnership with the Department of Local Small Business Development, launched a new Mentor-Protégé program designed to identify small, certified local businesses to be mentored by larger businesses with the goal of creating more opportunities for smaller firms to work on government contracts. Under the program, Coakley & Williams, Inc., will partner with Blue Skye Development, LLC, to build the new Washington Highlands Neighborhood Library, and Hess Construction will partner with Broughton Construction Company LLC to build the new Francis A. Gregory Library.
“The mentor-protégé program benefits both partners,” says Eric Coard, chief business officer for the library. “Local Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) are working on large contracts while learning how to enhance their capability to perform as prime contractors. In addition, larger businesses are able to identify solid minority-owned partners for future bids.”
Each library contract is worth up to $10 million. The library, which has managed procurement independently since the beginning of the 2008 fiscal year, plans to allow larger businesses to mentor CBEs to enhance business opportunities in the District.
The program requires a three-year partnership during which the companies agree to provide the library monthly status reports that measure the success of the collaboration and each business.