MnDOT reaches out to veterans for contracts

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is calling on veteran-owned businesses to bid for state transportation projects and has launched an effort to help them to get certified for state contracts.

The number of veteran-owned firms eligible to bid on MnDOT projects has fallen to about 30 this year, officials in the department say. That is about half the number of veteran-owned businesses as in previous years Veterans Outreach Initiative

Alan Duff, who runs a consulting firm that does outreach to veteran-owned businesses, said he'd like to see the number of veteran owned firms bidding for MnDOT contracts more than triple.

"One of my hopes of this project is that we do communicate to the marketplace in general the tremendous assets that the veteran brings to the table, whether they are serving in a private contract, a public contract or just an employer in general," he said.

Veterans bring good qualities to the businesses that hire them including, "Respect of leadership, an understanding of discipline, an extremely hard work ethic, communication skills that are just very profoundly strong," Duff said.

The Veteran's Administration says a business must be at least 51 percent owned by a veteran to be eligible.

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