Applications now open for Rebuild’s fourth class of small, diverse Philadelphia design and construction businesses

Today Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong announced that applications are now being accepted for small, diverse Philadelphia businesses to enroll in the Summer 2020 Rebuild Ready training program.The free 12-14 week training program offers Philadelphia-based design and construction businesses support building specific skills needed to bid for and win work on Rebuild projects. Made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax, Rebuild is the City’s historic investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to improve neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries.

Since its launch in May 2019, 48 local businesses have graduated from Rebuild Ready equipped with the skills needed to compete for public works contracts. Rebuild Ready, delivered in partnership with The Enterprise Center and Surety Bond Associates, provides technical assistance focused on various areas of business management in the construction industry, including:

  • Estimating, bid preparation, and contract negotiation
  • Business planning
  • Capital access
  • Cash flow management
  • Finance and accounting
  • Project management
  • Risk management
  • Legal
  • Human Resources

Due to the Stay at Home Order and restrictions on group gatherings due to COVID-19, the Summer 2020 Rebuild Ready program will be delivered virtually.It is open to all businesses in the design, construction, and community engagement fields. Applications close June 5, 2020, and training will run from June through October.

“There is an incredibly talented pool of small, diverse contractors in Philadelphia,” said Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong. “Now that construction is re-starting across the city, Rebuild is looking to expand the number of minority and women contractors working on our projects. It is incumbent on us to encourage more small businesses to consider bidding for Rebuild contracts. Rebuild Ready offers diverse Philadelphia firms the specific skills they need to bid for and win work on Rebuild and other City contracts.”

As reported in 2019 Rebuild By the Numbers, Rebuild is currently on track to meet or exceed its contract participation goals. Rebuild’s diversity and inclusion goals are among the most ambitious in the City, including a target of 25 to 30 percent of professional services contracts going to minorities and 15 to 20 percent going to women. For construction contracts, the goal is that 30 to 35 percent of spending goes to minority firms, and 15 to 20 percent to women-owned businesses.

Rebuild Ready is one of two free business support programs available to diverse local businesses. The Emerging Vendors program allows previously uncertified minority- or women-owned businesses to count toward participation goals on Rebuild projects while working toward certification. Participants have access to free support in obtaining certification.

Both programs were designed in partnership with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Economic Opportunity to address the barriers that make it difficult for small, diverse businesses to work on public works projects.

“I am proud that we’ve developed and implemented innovative programs aimed at increasing the opportunities available to minority-, women- and disabled-owned business enterprises (M/W/DSBEs),” said Iola Harper, Deputy Commerce Director, Entrepreneurship and Economic Opportunity. “In the difficult economic times ahead, it is especially critical that we work to ensure local diverse firms have a chance to get business, and Rebuild Ready and Emerging Vendors Program are key to Philadelphia’s strategy to increase minority business participation.”

Businesses can sign up for Rebuild Ready here.

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Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion. Rebuild is a public-private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.