The University of South Florida (USF) and Skanska, a multinational construction and development company, today announced their partnership to introduce a new mentoring program that aims to help diverse small businesses in the Tampa Bay area . Facilitated by USF’s Supplier Diversity Office, the Construction Management Building Blocks (CMBB) mentor-protégé program will provide contractors with training, development and partnership opportunities to help businesses grow and develop. to become more efficient through competitive tendering processes.
“We are thrilled to join Skanska in delivering this new program, which is extremely important to the University of South Florida,” said Terrie Daniel, assistant vice president of USF’s Supplier Diversity office. “I believe this will increase the opportunities for participating companies and have a significant impact on those companies and on the economy of our entire business community.”
Leveraging the business expertise of USF faculty and staff, as well as Skanska and other industry professionals, participants will participate in an eight-week program that will provide advice on a variety of topics, such as environmental health and safety, field management, as well as marketing and business development. Businesses will learn, at no cost to them, how to be more successful on USF / Skanska Tampa Bay based projects and the construction industry in general.
Various companies will be selected for the CMBB program based on recommendations from community partners, including the Hillsborough County NAACP, the St. Petersburg Collective, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. To be eligible, companies must have been in the construction industry and in business for at least one year.
“This initiative not only continues our ongoing work and partnership with USF, but also lives up to our goal, ‘Building for a Better Society,’ said Tracy Hunt, senior vice president of operations at Skanska in the greater Tampa Bay area. “Construction Management Building Blocks’ mentor-protégé program will prepare these contractors with the foundational skills to operate successful businesses and seek opportunities in Tampa’s growing construction industry. ”
The first cohort of the program will start at the end of August. Upon completion, participants will receive a construction mentor from Skanska and a graduate student mentor from USF’s Muma College of Business (COB) for up to six months to help streamline administrative responsibilities. Participants will also receive scholarships for a financial management program run by the Muma COB Small Business Development Center.