The SCA seeks to increase, facilitate and encourage the participation of minority-owned, women-owned and locally based enterprise (MWLBE) firms by providing a flexible framework for eligible firms to develop and grow within the construction industry and to establish long-term business relationships with the SCA.
Through its Mentor and Graduate Mentor programs, the SCA seeks to increase MWLBE participation in School Construction projects.
The Mentor Program partners emerging MWLBE firms with some of the industry’s largest construction management firms and provides them with contracting opportunities and valuable experience. The program provides:
- Experience working on SCA projects
- Technical assistance and training
- General business, organizational and personnel skills development
- Marketing and business development
- Fast track payment systems
- Access to working capital and bonding
A key component of the program is that it targets smaller construction contracts – valued up to $750,000 – for mentor program participants to bid against each other. The firm that is deemed the lowest, most responsible and responsive is awarded the contract. The awarded mentor firm is then contacted by the assigned Scope A Mentor CM firm to oversee and provide them with technical assistance in the field, while completing the project. The SCA hires construction managers not only to ensure that all projects are completed safely, on time and within budget, but also to mentor and provide technical assistance to participating firms. The projects do not require union affiliation; however, participating firms must pay prevailing wages.
Graduate Mentor Program
Upon successful completion of a four-year mentoring program, a company is eligible to complete a two-year advanced program that provides eligible firms with the ability to bid on projects valued from $750,001 to $1 million. The contracts are awarded directly, without any construction manager’s participation, in order to prepare the firm to transition to active and independent contract work with the SCA. There is no longer any CM involvement with the firms participating in the Graduate Mentor Program. Firms must obtain surety bonding of at least $1 million to participate. The SCA Business Development Division works with firms that have graduated from the Mentor Program and wish to participate in the Graduate Program obtain bonding.
Mentor Program Qualification Requirements
In order to participate in the SCA's Mentor Program, a firm must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be prequalified to do business with the SCA; Learn how to get prequalified: SCA Prequalification Page.
- Be certified as a Minority-Owned Business (MBE), Woman-Owned Business (WBE) or Locally-Based Enterprise (LBE); Learn how to become certified as MWLBE: MWLBE Certification Page.
- Provide at least two (2) references for commercial work – valued at no less than $25,000 each – in every trade for which it wishes to be qualified; and
- Have been in business for at least one (1) year.
Because the program is targeted to the small contracting business community, a firm:
- Cannot exceed average gross sales of more than $2.1 million in the last three (3) calendar years; and
- Must have no bonding capacity or less than $1 million bonding capacity.
How Do Firms Get Work?
After a MWLBE firm receives its certification and prequalification approval letters and is qualified in one of the Mentor-eligible trades, it becomes eligible for an invitation to participate in the program. Firms that meet the minimum eligibility requirements are assessed by our Scope B CM firm for program participation and are invited to attend an orientation session at which time they are provided with a Mentor Participation Agreement. Once the firm returns a signed agreement and it is approved, it will be entered in the program. Once the firm is entered into the program and completes all required classes, they will then automatically included on bid lists based on the scope of work of the project and their approved trade codes.
To obtain Mentor Program criteria or information on how to apply, please call the Business Development Division at 718-472-8760.
For assistance with the online certification application, call the BDD Hotline at 718-472-8899. Hours of operation are Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:00pm.