MnDOT course aimed at contracts for vets

An effort to help more military veterans become eligible to bid on state construction projects is ramping up ahead of the spring construction season.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is holding a special workshop for veteran small-business owners at the end of the month.

Transportation officials say MnDOT last year contracted out more than $200 million in state construction projects.

Veterans outreach contractor Alan Duff said MnDOT would like to see more contracts go to veteran-owned small businesses.

"The veterans that I've spoken with over the last nine months on this project have really impressed me as go-getters," he said, "as ones that want to work in the marketplace and provide the value-added expertise and skills that they have to offer to the marketplace."

Duff said the workshop is intended to help veterans become certified to win even more work.

"We, the veteran community, need to show MnDOT that we are out there and that we are willing, ready and able to provide those services for these upcoming projects," he said.

The goal is to increase their participation on state-funded projects and help reduce the unemployment rate for veterans.

MnDOT is asking people to register in advance for the free workshop, to be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 31 at Hiway Federal Credit Union, 840 Westminster St., St. Paul.

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