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Connecting MBE Firms to Active Bidding Opportunities

  • 1 Jun 2023
Ascend Regional Program MBE firms gathered with the executive team at Lendlease to build pre-bid relationships for open projects.

As part of its commitment to minority-owned businesses (MBE) supplier diversity, Lendlease senior leadership, project executives and members of their management team recently met with over 35 MBEs from the Ascend Regional Program. Lendlease is a founding enterprise Opportunity Partner with the Ascend NY-NJ-LI Regional Program and hosted the meeting to discuss active and prospective projects as part of a targeted program designed to connect MBEs with potential bidding opportunities.

The Ascend NY-NJ-LI Regional Program is a 24-month program that will increase market access for over 30 firms owned by people of color. The Program serves New York City, New Jersey and Long Island. Funded by JP Morgan Chase and supported by the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, the Program is part of the national Ascend Cities network (www.ascendcities.com).

“The importance of teaming, both among MBE firms and Lendlease executives, is key to promoting productive business relationship and creating real bidding opportunities,” said Steven Sommer, Executive General Manager and President- Construction, East Coast Region, Lendlease, Americas.

The meeting was held at Lendlease headquarters at 200 Park Avenue where the MBEs (minority business enterprises) were able to introduce themselves, gain a better understanding of what a general contractor is seeking, and identify specific projects that matched their firm’s capabilities. Several projects were shared that detailed scope, bidding schedule and insurance, bonding, and union/PLA requirements.

Nayada Lugji, Senior Compliance Manager, Lendlease, Americas, and head of the effort at Lendlease, said of its importance, “The relationship with the Ascend NY-NJ-LI Regional Program has added a new pool of MBEs that may be prequalified and offered bidding opportunities for our current and upcoming projects.”

MBE firms in the Ascend cohort include building trades, professional services and facility maintenance firms who are growing in capacity and skill to meet the needs of construction, both building and heavy civil. The Program prepares firms to strategically navigate new direct opportunities as well as those identified through sub-contracting, teaming and joint ventures.

Michael Verchot, Director, Consulting and Business Development Center at the Foster School of Business, University of Washington and Lead at Ascend National said of the effort, “We applaud Lendlease for their leadership in not only working with MBE firms to increase their understanding with what large builders need but also to expand real contracting opportunities that will deliver quality for their clients while growing highly capable MBE firms.”

The next phase of this program will include subsequent meetings to connect Lendlease’s prequalification team with the cohort, the first step in the bidding process. This segment may include completing project-specific prequal, one-on-one meeting with the Project Manager, a site visit walkthrough of the project, or a quick overview of plans to help them prepare for a complete takeoff for their bid. This meeting will prepare the MBE firms for a bidding opportunity, if relevant to their capabilities and capacity to perform the identified work.