Port Houston held its semi-annual Port University workshop Oct. 11-Nov. 1. Port University, a four week training course, is an outreach program designed to educate small businesses about procurement opportunities at the port. The workshops are presented in collaboration with the University 0f Houston Small Business Development Center.
More than 30 small business representatives attended the class, where they learned about port procurement opportunities, port facilities small business program, contracting language, bonding, insurance requirements and the port’s BuySpeed Procurement System. Since inception in 2003, more than 650 small business owners have graduated from Port University.
Port Houston staff from the procurement, legal, risk management, environmental and project and construction management departments provided insight on doing business with the port.
“These staff driven workshops are a great resource for small businesses looking to find contracts and projects with the port,” said Pedro Gonzales, Port Houston Small Business Program Manager. “It provides an overview of how these businesses can be successful throughout the process.”
In addition to the course, the Port Authority offers a small business mentoring program for companies enrolled in the port’s small business program. Since the beginning of the program, awards and commitments to small businesses have totaled more than a half a billion dollars.
The Port Authority Small Business and Education Outreach department participates in roughly 200 events every year through the collaboration with various chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and private/public agency partners.