Posted: 5/09/02

Mentor Protégé Program Underway at TAMIU to Help HUBs Succeed



A new State Program developed by the General Services Commission and being implemented at Texas A&M International University seeks to creatively partner prime contractors with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) to help increase the number of HUB contracts awarded by the State of Texas.

The program is the result of a directive under Senate Bill 178 that mandates that state agencies such as TAMIU implement the program designed by the GSC.

Laura Rea, director of purchasing for TAMIU, said the program is flexible and works to foster long-term voluntary relationships between prime contractors and HUBs.

"This is really a dynamic opportunity for those HUBs, or protégés, who want to increase their business contracts with State agencies to do so with the unique insights, skills, talents and experiences that the volunteer mentors bring. State agencies are working individually and cooperatively to provide staff resources and guidance to help the Mentor Protégé Program succeed, " Rea explained.

"Together, the mentor and protégé can work to identify business practices that can help assure their success. Doing business with the State can seem a complicated process, but with the Mentor Protégé Program, we hope to be able to demystify the process and make participation more broad-based," she said.

Mentors and protégés will ideally meet on a regular basis with mentors focusing on helping to develop the protégé's business plan and implementing actions that will help the protégé to obtain the success level they desire, she said.

"We will also help match mentors to protégés and conduct orientations for the resulting pairings and provide informational and training packets, " Rea noted.

Mentors and protégés will complete an application, indicate their willingness to comply with reporting requirements, and set up a schedule of meetings.

Protégés must be currently certified as State of Texas HUBs and meet two or more of the following criteria:

*Be a new start up HUB company with less than one year operation and HUB certification.

*Be within an eligible certification category (construction, commodities, services) that reflects an under-utilization.

*Be a HUB firm that offers goods or services in a commodity code (comptroller's code) which is in the top 30 spending categories as reflected in the HUB Annual Report.

*Be a HUB firm which is committed to participate in accordance with program rules, guidelines and processes for incremental growth and business success.

Applicants will be screened by the University's designated HUB Coordinator or that of whatever Stage agency from which they seek partnership.

Rea said the bottom line for program participants will be an increased likelihood of successfully securing state contracts for services or goods, something which is a strong commitment of the State of Texas.

"All State agencies are required to make a good faith effort to award contracts for goods or services to HUB vendors. There is a strong commitment by the State, through programs such as the Mentor Protégé Program, to identify and work with HUB businesses to aggressively seek larger levels of participation. We believe this program offers a clear benefit to participants and will help the State to continue to maintain high levels of HUB participation," she said.

For more information, contact Laura Rea, director of purchasing, at 326.2355, email lrea@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in Killam Library, room 315B.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu