TMG Consulting Facilitates DBE Workshop in Baton Rouge

651f58fe-9f07-40d6-8315-9a1c9a60a220The 12th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop was held at the L’auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge on October 31st, 2017. This annual event series was first started by TMG as a tool to allow small and disadvantaged businesses to interact and create business relationships with Airport staff, prime firms, agencies providing small business assistance, and other small firms. This free workshop is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and is geared toward those interested in pursuing future work with the Airport and other businesses in the surrounding area.

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The workshop brought together over 100 attendees from a variety of backgrounds including small business owners, government officials, and resource groups. Along with sitting in on informational presentations, attendees were given the opportunity to network with other businesses while enjoying a complimentary breakfast and lunch catered by the casino. This event is one of many outreach efforts encouraging small and disadvantaged business development in Baton Rouge. The Airport was selected by the Airports Council International (North America) as the Small Hub Inclusion Champion for 2017, recognizing their dedication to promote diversity in the airport industry both through business development and community engagement.

1401f5e9-f0f7-4f9f-9943-8d5cc36e3162The opening remarks were given by Ralph Hennessy, Interim Director of Aviation for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, and followed by DBE consultants Dylan Wade and Nathan Lipson of TMG Consulting who presented an overview of the Baton Rouge DBE program and discussed the best practices for submitting bids and proposals. Joe Levraea, Program Manager for BTR of AMG Consulting, gave an overview of upcoming projects and contract opportunities available at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport.

 

be94f18c-bdae-4af1-ab95-6c2ab0a441aaMike Taffaro kicked off the afternoon events describing procurement opportunities with the Airport as well as the City of Baton Rouge. Remy Graves, DBE/SBE Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, discussed what it takes to become DBE certified and the resources that the LADOTD can provide for business owners looking to get certified. Jo Ann Lawrence, Deputy District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration closed out the workshop with her presentation, “Support for Small Business in Louisiana,” in which she identified numerous bond assistance, insurance, and general business advice programs which the SBA provides in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and throughout the state of Louisiana.

a8ae9d5a-2b49-4f3f-ae6e-b205406f0e32TMG Consulting started the DBE program with the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in 2001 and has successfully assisted in planning and hosting the workshop since its first year in 2005. The event has continued to grow over the years with increased numbers of attendees and local participation.

 

TMG Assists Baton Rouge Transit System as it Prepares for Big Change

In need of additional resources, the Baton Rouge Capital Area Transit System (CATS) turned to the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish to establish the agency’s first dedicated source of revenue.  Following an extensive outreach campaign that included a coalition of business, faith-based and other organizations, the Baton Rouge community in April 2012 approved a property tax measure which effectively doubled the agency’s budget in order to implement a number of significant improvements to service.  This ballot success was a big win for the future of transit in the Capital and an exceptional event for transit nationwide, representative of a larger trend of new attitudes toward transportation.

In late 2012, CATS retained TMG Consulting to analyze the current state and progress of the organization as it was preparing to implement its growth plans and to make recommendations on what management structure would best meet the agencies goals through transition.  TMG researched data from CATS and other relevant transit agencies of current and future size.  Using gap analysis, TMG was able to estimate what resources and staff capacity the organization was likely to need to meet its future goals.  After vetting a number of management alternatives that ranged from all in-house to fully contracted, or delegated, management, TMG recommended that CATS augment staff by contracting out selected management positions, an arrangement similar to transit agencies in El Paso, TX and Lexington, KY.  TMG also prepared a number of other recommendations, from the pace of introducing new service to technology investment, to enable the agency to stay on track to deliver its ballot goals and bring CATS to the next level.

The CATS Board and staff is currently reviewing TMG’s recommendations as it prepares for what will undoubtedly be a bright new future for transit in Baton Rouge.

Contributed by:

Dwight Norton, AICP

Senior Analyst, Planning

dwightnorton@tmg-consulting.net  

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