A three-pronged Los Angeles regional program—consisting of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Metro, and the County of Los Angeles—has been created to help disabled veteran and small and diverse contractors win contracts on infrastructure development and other publicly funded construction projects. The regional Contractor Development and Bonding Program (CDABP) provides bonding assistance, contract financing, technical support, education, training and other services to under-represented businesses.
All three prongs are being administered by Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services (MWIS).
“Los Angeles is a diverse region with so many talented business owners, and we need to use all their talents and optimize competition to have the greatest local economic impact of regional contracting dollars,” said Ingrid Merriwether, CEO of MWIS. “We need to break down the barriers that have prevented many disabled veteran and small and diverse groups from accessing public contracts.”
One beneficiary of CDABP assistance is Ron Escobar, owner of Escobar Construction, who served in the Marine Corps. “The trainings and workshops provided by the Contractor Development and Bonding Program have enabled me to learn important skills, build business confidence, and see more clearly what I am capable of achieving,” said Escobar. “I learned how to navigate the public contracting system, which included getting certified as a disabled veteran-owned business enterprise with LA Metro. The program also connected me with a lender who provided a line of credit to my business.”