CAMPO wants more disadvantaged business partners


NNG file

The Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has set a goal for the next three years to include more disadvantaged businesses for federally-backed Jump Around Carson projects.
The CAMPO board approved the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program at its Sept. 14 meeting. The program is mandated by the Federal Transit Administration for recipients of federal funds. Carson’s DBE plan will run from federal fiscal year 2023 to 2025 and will include a participation goal of 1.43 percent, applying to an estimated $7.8 million to be awarded.
The previous participation goal was .72 percent, Transit Coordinator Alex Cruz told CAMPO members, and the city was “very close” to meeting that.
“The coming three years do have construction-type projects, and that’s where a lot of the concentration of the DBEs are, so we have a lot better chance of getting more participation,” Cruz said.
To be considered disadvantaged, a business must be certified with the state – through the Nevada Unified Certification Program – and meet certain criteria of eligibility, such as how much money the business makes and the net worth of the owner. Carson’s program is “race neutral,” which, according to Cruz, means “we don’t make a distinction based on gender or race.”
“It means that our projects don’t put any groups above any others although we encourage DBE participation,” Cruz said by email.
Cruz said the local program is limited by existing DBEs in the area
“The goal percentage is based on the availability of the DBEs in the areas that we are spending money,” he said. “Basically, we take the NAICS codes (North American Industry Classification System) within our area for the work required in our projects and compare that to the DBEs that are certified in that same NAICS code, and that gives us a percentage. We then ‘weigh’ that percentage based on the estimated cost of that project within the overall amount of funds we expect to spend.”
Using industry descriptions, the local program specifies project funding available for different kinds of work, from transit operation to construction work to street lighting vendors. Cruz said he’s reached out to chambers of commerce, the Washoe Tribe, local Latino organizations, and others to generate interest.
“We held a public meeting earlier in the month where we invited those local organizations, but we also intend to work harder at trying to get more local DBEs to participate depending on the availability of those DBEs,” he said.
For information about DBEs in Nevada, visit https://business.nv.gov/Resource_Center/Business_Certifications/

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