Companies Struggle With Policy To Hire Small, Diverse Firms

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Construction companies that are awarded contracts by the state of Virginia are struggling to find subcontractors that are certified as small businesses or firms that are owned by minorities or women, according to state-sponsored working group.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Saturday that Virginia is encouraging state officials and contractors to conduct business with small firms and businesses that are owned by women or minorities.

The problem is that prime contractors “struggle to find qualified certified vendors,” the working group said. Some businesses felt the certification process was challenging. Or they were unaware of opportunities and what is required on construction projects.

The working group is led by Virginia’s Department of General Services and the state Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity.

The group has recommended that the state look for ways to make it easier for contractors to find certified firms. It also recommended that bid solicitations tell potential contractors how to ask for the state's help in finding certified subcontractors.