With help from DOT, Bradley Douglas Construction expands horizons
One of Transportation Secretary Foxx’s greatest priorities is making sure that, while strengthening our country’s infrastructure, we also ensure that the rungs on the Ladders of Opportunity aren't so far apart and that transportation infrastructure projects create opportunities for a broad range of Americans. That includes America's small businesses.
The success of Sharon Douglas, a small business owner in Fort Worth serves as a great example of why creating those opportunities is important for our Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) and for our country.
In 2011 Sharon Douglas, owner of Bradley Douglas Construction Company, was looking to grow her business so she could bid more effectively on bigger projects, but she simply lacked the resources to make it happen.
Now, through her involvement with DOT’s Gulf Region Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC) over the last 4 years, Sharon has increased her company’s bonding capacity by 400 percent, from $1,000,000 to $ 5,000,000.
Sharon Douglas, Lauren Adedokun, Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez and Tony Arps of the Gulf SBTRC
Sharon made contact with our SBTRC after receiving a number of invitations to attend one of our OSDBU Bonding Education Workshops in her area. Since the initial contact, Sharon has also attended several other workshops hosted by the center, all of which have been designed to improve day-to-day business operations. These included seminars where she had the opportunity to hear prime contractors in the industry discuss their own best practices.
As a result, Sharon has doubled her company’s revenue and was able to gain the experience and capacity Bradley Douglas needed to tackle larger projects in the future.
And what she did a few months later really showed the multiplier effect of our work.
After having received assistance from DOT and our SBTRC, Bradley Douglas Construction Company turned around and mentored Lauren Adedokun, an intern from the University of Texas, Arlington, through DOT’s Women In Transportation initiative. Upon completion of the DOT internship program, Lauren was hired for a full-time job.
Two weeks ago, Sharon and Lauren were both recognized for their achievements in front of more than 200 small business owners at a Small Business Day we held in Dallas.
That is what our Ladders of Opportunity initiative is all about. It’s a call to action to ensure that our small business community has a chance to compete for larger, more lucrative transportation contracts. And it creates a continuous chain where one person receives an opportunity, then reaches back to help pull the next person up the ladder.
Success stories like that of Sharon Douglas are about more than just luck. They’re about access to opportunity and a willingness to grab that opportunity and work hard to see it through. They’re about agencies like DOT making sure our nation’s small and disadvantaged businesses have a fair shot at the American dream.
Sharon Douglas and the Bradley Douglas Construction Company will be featured on Good Morning Texas, November 13, at 9:00 a.m.