Kickoff reception on Aug. 4 for small business mentoring initiative entering its third year, with enhanced learning opportunities for participants
TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2023) – The University of South Florida, in partnership with Skanska, announces the 2023 class of its mentoring program designed to support the Tampa Bay region’s diverse-owned small businesses in the construction industry.
Over the past two years, more than 20 local minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses have successfully completed the mentor-protégé program, which provides companies with training, development and partnership opportunities to help them grow their capacity and become more effective with competitive bidding processes.
The free, 12-week program coordinated through USF’s Office of Supplier Diversity provides guidance on a variety of subjects, such as environmental health and safety, marketing and business development, as well as project accounting. This year features enhanced learning opportunities with the inclusion of clinical simulations in conjunction with USF Health, which will help participants prepare for live construction scenarios within a health care facility.
“The University of South Florida is continuing to build on the success of the mentorship program, and we’re so happy for the opportunity to assist more businesses for the third consecutive year,” said Terrie Daniel, USF Office of Supplier Diversity assistant vice president. “USF is committed to ensuring our local minority, veteran and women business owners have the tools they need to grow and prosper.”
This year’s cohort consists of the following businesses:
- Gulf Atlantic Engineers, PA
- AEC Development Partners LLC
- J&B Construction Services USA INC
- id Designs & Co.
- Toro Construction Services Inc dba Toro CSI
- Promise Construction and Repair Solutions, LLC
- Cut Ups Lawn Service
- Marvis Enterprises Corp.
- Innovative Homes & Remodeling, Inc
“We are excited to once again partner with USF to support the continued growth and success of the mentor-protégé program,” said Tracy Hunt, senior vice president at Skanska USA. “At Skanska, we pride ourselves on building what matters and by building this connection with our small, diverse participants we can remove barriers and provide the best resources to help them become more successful and thrive in the industry and bolster our local business community.”
Previous participants have said they benefitted greatly from the business expertise provided by USF faculty and staff, along with Skanska and other industry professionals.
“The mentoring I received gave me the confidence to get out of my comfort zone, do more public speaking and go out to find projects for the company,” said Nia Ogletree, CEO of Arielle Management Group and a member of the mentor program’s first class in 2021.
Ogletree, a U.S. Army veteran, added that since completing the program her client base has grown, having received increased work on a commercial fire alarm project and a new five-year contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Diverse firms are selected based on recommendations from community partners, which include the Hillsborough County NAACP, Prospera, the Women’s Business Enterprise Council Florida, Inclusive St. Petersburg and the Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce. To qualify, companies must provide services and be a supplier in the construction industry, as well as be in business for at least one year.
The 2023 mentor-protégé program kicks off with a reception on Aug. 4, with the first session starting on Aug. 10.
The view this story on the USF Newsroom website, click here.
The University of South Florida, a high-impact research university dedicated to student success and committed to community engagement, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. With campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF serves approximately 50,000 students who represent nearly 150 different countries. For four consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report has ranked USF as one of the nation’s top 50 public universities, including USF’s highest ranking ever in 2023 (No. 42). In 2023, USF became the first public university in Florida in nearly 40 years to be invited to join the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of the leading universities in the United States and Canada. Through hundreds of millions of dollars in research activity each year and as one of top universities in the world for securing new patents, USF is a leader in solving global problems and improving lives. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.
Skanska uses knowledge & foresight to shape the way people live, work, and connect. More than 135 years in the making, we’re one of the world’s largest development and construction companies. We operate in select markets throughout the Nordics, Europe and the United States. Skanska in the U.S. is headquartered in New York City with 29 offices around the country. In 2022, construction in the U.S. generated $6.9 billion in revenue, and as a developer in the U.S., Skanska has invested a total of $3.5 billion in commercial and multi-family projects. Together with our customers and the collective expertise of our 6,500 teammates in the U.S. and 28,000 globally, we create innovative and sustainable solutions that support healthy living beyond our lifetime.