The DOE Mentor Protégé Program provides historically under-utilized businesses--mostly small disadvantaged and/or women-owned enterprises--with developmental assistance to enable them to perform as subcontractors at various DOE facilities. BNI's version of the program is known as the Supplier Development & Diversity Program, an initiative that was started in 1997 and that so far has involved mentoring relationships with five different small businesses.
Accepting the award for BNI was Jeannie Houston, manager of the Supplier Development & Diversity Program. She says the Bechtel National program involves two small companies associated with the company's Oak Ridge, Tennessee, office, two firms serving DOE's Nevada Test Site, and a single company affiliated with the department's Savannah River Site in South Carolina. In addition, BNI is helping a firm in New Hampshire that is associated with a Department of Defense environmental restoration project in that state.
The small businesses are American Technologies, Inc. of Oak Ridge; Arrowhead Technology, Inc. of Boulder City, Nevada; Contract Management, Inc. of Augusta, Georgia; Hong Environmental, Inc. of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; NFT Incorporated of Lakewood, Colorado; and PEER Consultants, Inc. of Rockville, Maryland.
Doris Heim, BNI vice president and manager of procurement, points to "the superb support we have been receiving from project management in implementing our small business subcontracting plans and mentor protégé agreements."
"This is a results-based small business program that provides assistance to our business development efforts and project execution needs while at the same time helping to support our client and community relations efforts. It's great to see that our customer has recognized the success we have had to date."
Houston says the program involves BNI managers working from time to time with the smaller firms on specific issues and problems, lending talent and resources whenever necessary. One of the mentor companies, for example, was recently having trouble with its accounting procedures. Bechtel sent over one of its people to basically help work out the problem.
"Through this program, any of these firms can tap any facet of our talent at any time," Houston said. "The goal is to try to increase the amount of subcontracts on which these companies work."