Port Houston held its semi-annual Port University workshop during the month of April. Port University, a four-week training course, is an outreach program designed to educate small businesses about procurement opportunities at the port. The workshops are presented in collaboration with the University of Houston Small Business Development Center.
More than 25 small business representatives attended the class, where they learned about port procurement opportunities, port facilities, contracting language, bonding, insurance requirements and the port’s BuySpeed Procurement System. Since inception in 2003, more than 722 small business owners have graduated from Port University.
Port Houston staff from the procurement, real estate, project and construction management, risk management, legal, environmental and channel development departments provided insight on doing business with the port.
“This program offers businesses the opportunity to learn the basics of contracting and procurement with the port,” said Pedro Gonzalez, P.E., small business mentoring program manager for Port Houston.
In addition to the course, the port offers a small business mentoring program for companies enrolled in the port’s small business program. Since the beginning of the program, awards and commitments to small businesses have totaled more than a half a billion dollars.
Port Houston’s Small Business and Education Outreach department participates in more than 200 events every year through the collaboration with various chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and private and public agency partners.