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Chamber, FAMU announce classes for small business owners

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By The Staff

The Gadsden County Chamber of Commerce and Florida A&M University are pleased to announce a partnership to offer the Construction Management Development Program certification classes in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation. The classes, which will enable small businesses to competitively place bids for statewide contracts, will be offered in Quincy by the chamber, beginning Feb. 2.

“These classes give our local small businesses the opportunity to survive and possibly grow during an increasingly difficult economic period,” said Michelle Burdick, chamber vice president of membership.

“We’re pleased to be working with FAMU on this project to give these businesses the chance to compete for state contracts that would normally be out of reach.”

Successful completion of the classes qualify the businesses to become certified with the FDOT and be eligible to compete for any government contract within the state of Florida. The collection of certification courses include instruction in business management, construction accounting, construction mathematics and estimating, contracts, specifications, and law, plan reading for FDOT construction and scheduling for FDOT construction. Areas of additional advising may include project planning methods, bidding and estimating, job costing and scheduling and contract negotiation and plan reading.

Financial counseling and bonding assistance will also be available through FAMU’S Bond Guarantee Program to assist certified disadvantaged business enterprises to meet the standards of traditional surety bonding and financial institutions.

Like credit backing, bond guarantees minimize the risk taken by sureties and provide a solid financial foundation to unseasoned disadvantaged business enterprises seeking contracts with the state of Florida.

A 90 percent guarantee will be available and awarded for contracts $250,000 or less, and an 80 percent guarantee for those contracts over $250,000, capped at $500,000.

Companies offering services solicited by the FDOT and other state departments include but are not limited to: fencing, guardrail, landscaping/mowing, maintenance, janitorial services, painting, traffic control, architecture, business and financial management, consultants, materials supply, highway construction, asphalt paving, building, construction/modification, steel, concrete, trucking, erosion control, drainage and earthwork. Gadsden County small businesses specializing in these or similar fields should consider taking advantage of the offered courses.

Registration has begun for the first two classes, Business Management and Scheduling. Classes are scheduled for Feb. 2 through March 13 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. at the chamber, located at 208 North Adams St. in Quincy. Register online at www.gadsdenfla.com by selecting Community Events from the online events calendar. Participants will be required to submit a completed and notarized program application and needs assessment form prior to attending the first day of classes. All forms can be obtained online or by calling 850-627-9231 or e-mailing michelleburdick@-tds.net.

For more information on the Construction Management Development Program or Bond Guarantee Program, visit the Web site at www.cmdp-bgp.com. Specific questions can be addressed by calling 850-561-2040.