Gather, Learn, and Share

All sessions will be at the Business Assistance Center located on the first floor of the historic Wilkinsburg Train Station

Directions

Program Basics

Specifications

  • 6-months of intensive sessions
  • 3-months of post graduation support
  • 1 learning session and 1 review session per month
  • Cohort meets for two hours ever second and fourth Tuesday of the month
  • Access to mentoring to activate learning and pursue projects
  • Cohort-driven with 5 participants in peer group
  • Participants get 40 hours of training and coaching
  • $3000 for supportive services during sessions
  • $3000 for supportive services after graduation
  • Access to project opportunities
  • Session attendance and cohort participation enforced
  • Pre and post program business assessments to gauge impact

Timeline

  • Applications open on December 1, 2022 at 12:00AM EST
  • Information Session on December 15, 2022 at 12:00PM EST
  • Applications due on December 31, 2022 at 12 :00AM EST
  • Cohort participants announced January 5, 2023
  • Cohort orientation on January 17, 2023
  • 6-month session schedule outlined below
  • Session will end with graduation event at Wilkinsburg Train Station

Eligibility

  • Small business based in Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Black-owned small business
  • Small business started before 2021
  • Annual gross revenue under $250,000
  • Average construction contract below $100,000

"We are looking for participants that are ready to make changes in how they operate, and those that can make the time to get the most out of the program. We designed the program to be flexible and responsive to participants' needs, but it will be hard work."

Roderick Ramsey | Business Assistance Program Manager for BID

Information Session

On Dec. 15th, 2022 at 12:00 PM prospective applicants can learn more and aske questions about this opportunity.

Our Experts

La’Taunja Martin Cooper

Founder | Martila Enterprise

Martila Enterprise is a professional construction management and real estate solutions company providing clients with the best services in project initiation through project closeout. They aim to become the forefront company that offers an unparalleled experience by building trust and valued relationships with clients.

Francine B. Cameron | CPA & MBA

President & CEO | CPSG, LLC.

Cameron Professional Services Group (CPSG) provides owners with project management, credit analysis, plan & cost review, operational review, fiscal management and vendor management to organizations undertaking community development projects. CPSG also offers accounting services to for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Christopher Kujawa

President | PDDM Solutions, LLC

PDDM Solutions provides construction and project management services, engineering/environmental design, permitting services, and workforce professional staffing and recruiting. The PDDM Solutions Team has grown and continues to grow because of their hard work and dedication to providing the best services to their clients.

Apply Today!

The application period for the Building Growth Cohort ends on Dec. 31, 2022 at 12:00AM EST.

Session Schedule

Is my emerging business ready for larger projects?

Part 1: Learn Session
Tues., Feb. 7, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: Francine Cameron

These first sessions will dive right into the business fundamentals of cohort participants with a focus on financial management tools. What makes them ready (or not) to take on larger projects with more risks and returns. Taskwork will include balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements and providing a brief vision for next steps with legal, marketing, and insurance tools.

Part 1: Review Session
Tues., Feb. 22, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: Francine Cameron

Is my emerging business ready for larger projects?

Part 2: Learn Session 
Tues., March 7, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: Francine Cameron

These sessions will challenge cohort participants to get real about their back office practices and partners. Proper systems need to be in place to meet the needs of a wide variety of project stakeholders, ranging from clients to subs. Taskwork will included action plans to fill gaps in operations, which can be directly addressed through the cohorts’ supportive services.

Part 2: Review Session
Tues., Feb. 22, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: Francine Cameron

How do I effectively pursue larger projects?

Learn Session
Tues., April 4, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: Christopher Kujawa

When emerging contracting and construction businesses identify new projects they want to pursue, knowing best practices to win the contract may not always be clear. Taskwork will include pursuing a sample project. Participants will hone their estimating, bidding, and proposing processes needed to compete for opportunities professionally and with a higher likelihood of success.

Review Session
Tues., April 18, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: Christopher Kujawa

How do I profitably manage larger projects?

Part 1 – Learn Session
Tues., May 9, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: La’Taunja Martin Cooper

Larger projects can be exciting at first with the prospect of increased revenues. But they also bring new and difficult challenges. How are you communicating with the clients and/or general contractor? How are you capitalizing for mobilization? How are you managing your subcontractors? These sessions will explore the best practices and lessons learned to make sure your largest project is not your last project.

Part 1 – Review Session
Tues., May 23, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: La’Taunja Martin Cooper

How do I profitably manage larger projects?

Part 2 – Learn Session
Tues., June 6, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: La’Taunja Martin Cooper

In part 2 of this vital section, we will explore methods to keep larger projects on time and on budget. Cohort participants will share approaches to collaborations and conflict that inevitable arise at the worksite. Taskwork will include mitigation techniques to handle projects issues, and to ensure that your business comes out ahead while meeting client needs.

Part 2 – Review Session
Tues., June 20, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: La’Taunja Martin Cooper

Where do take my strengthened business from here?

Learn Session
Tues., July 11, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: TBD

This month is all about turning your learnings into earnings. Participants will synthesize everything they learned over the preceding months into a high impact elevator pitch to inspire future customers. As part of this process, participants will evaluate their current marketing approach and create a plan of action to be more visible and successful in the construction sector.

Review Session
Tues., July 25, 2023
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Expert Guide: TBD

Building Growth Cohort Graduation

On Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 5pm to 7pm participants will receive a certification of completion and share their visions for growth

Post Graduation Support

After the 6-months of session begins the real work. Graduate will be eligible for $3000 in additional supportive services to keep making key improvements. The experts that led the session will be on hand for one-on-one coaching as participant exercise new capabilities and confidence in the marketplace. Support will continue for 3 additional months after graduation. In addition, with stronger business fundamentals in place, cohort participants will be able to consider capital to grow from Bridgeway to take even greater leaps towards growth.