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. The owners of the firm must attend all Mentor eligible classes before moving to the next level of consideration. Firms that attend all required classes are assessed by our Consultant CM firm for program participation. Firms meeting the needs of the program 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. Firms will then be included on bid lists, based on the scope of work of the project and their approved trade codes. Firms must continue to attend mandatory training during their tenure in the program. Failure to attend training could be cause for dismissal from the program.


To obtain Mentor Program criteria or information on how to apply, please call the Business Development Department 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.

In order to participate in the SCA's Mentor Program, a firm must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Be prequalified to do business with the SCA; learn how to get prequalified: SCA Prequalification Page.
  2. 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.
  3. Provide at least two references for commercial work, valued at no less than $25,000 each, in every trade for which it wishes to be qualified; and
  4. Have been in business for at least one 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 calendar years; and
  • Must have no bonding capacity or less than $1 million bonding capacity.

Mentor Program

This multi-year program pairs MWLBE contractors with large, well-known Construction Managers who provide individualized on-the-job training and guidance. In exchange for a multi-year commitment, prequalified and certified firms have the opportunity to bid against other Mentor firms for projects with an estimated value of up to $1,000,000, allowing them to establish long-term business relationships with the SCA.  The program also offers the following additional support for Mentor firm growth:

  • Mentor Loan Program – The SCA provides access to capital for small contractors. Firms that participate in the Mentor Program are eligible to apply for loans of up to $300,000.
  • Construction and Information Technology Training – The SCA provides an innovative and effective classroom program that offers training in a variety of disciplines.
  • Surety Bond Program – Firms receive assistance applying for and obtaining surety bonding – a requirement for performing that offers training in a variety of disciplines. 

Graduate Mentor Program

The four-year Graduate Mentor Program provides MWLBE firms that have successfully completed the Mentor Program with the experience and support necessary to transition from smaller projects to compete successfully in the SCA’s Capital Improvement Program. Graduate Mentor firms bid against each other for projects with an estimated value of between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000.

MWLBE Participation in Construction and Consultant Subcontracts

  • MWLBE participation is one of the evaluation criteria used when reviewing RFPs submitted by consultants and professional services firms. 
  • The SCA requires that general contractors meet the goals of 30% MWLBE subcontract participation for all Capital Improvement Program and Capacity construction projects valued at over $3 million.

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.