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Del Mar College Helps Local Businesses Earn Industry Contracts

Small-business owners filled the room at a kickoff event at Del Mar College’s Small Business Development Center in Corpus Christi on April 17. Courtesy photo

A new program aimed at connecting small-business owners with opportunities to work with the area’s growing industrial base recently kicked off at Del Mar College’s Small Business Development Center. The newly established Contractor Resource Center will help small businesses expand their capabilities to compete in the commercial arena for current and future projects.

“Working with our new program will support existing local companies to become better prepared to bid on fast-moving, incoming projects and provide them with information about upcoming commercial opportunities,” said Ann Fierova, SBDC director. “We want to create a highly competent and competitive commercial business base in the Coastal Bend and ensure local small businesses meet the capabilities and preparedness levels to capture local opportunities, keeping our dollars at home.”

The April 17 kickoff featured a program overview of the center’s services and a panel discussion with representatives from Chemours, Zachry and Bay Ltd. The panel talked about the process of how to do business with their large companies.

Working with the center, small businesses can expect to receive one-on-one advice on quality management systems, standards/certifications, health and safety education, insurance/bonding, human resources management, financial management, contractor qualifications/scope of work, marketing to industry, and guidance on joint ventures.

The center will hold training seminars and give small-business owners access to the Plan Room, where they will find bids and specs for many local commercial contracts, including information from Dodge Reports and Builders Exchange.

Maintaining a Contractor Readiness List for local industry and incoming large firms is also part of the center’s duties.

“Our overall goal is to help local small businesses clear hurdles and land larger contracts and opportunities that will affect our communities’ economic growth by increasing business revenues, jobs and sales-tax revenues,” said Dan Korus, dean of the college’s Workforce Programs and Corporate Services Division. “Del Mar College is excited about offering this new program to provide new and growing businesses the opportunity to work with larger, more diverse businesses.”

The $133,000 funding for the new center’s first year of operation came from the Corpus Christi Business and Jobs Development Corporation Incentive Fund approved by the Type A Board appointed by the Corpus Christi City Council. An option for two additional years was also approved by the board. The fund is administered by the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp.

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