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Construction Workers
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DBE Research & Outreach

Welcome & Overview

Construction and Logistics Workers

What is MAASTO?

Mid-America Association of Transportation Officials (MAASTO)

The purpose of this project is to identify challenges, barriers, positive experiences, and support needed for DBEs or small businesses on State Prequalification programs. This includes new and experienced DBEs entering the highway-heavy industry and identifying potential DBEs not known to each State DOT. Particularly, it examines how prequalification requirements have impacted DBEs' actual or potential interest in contracting with the state, whether prequalification programs specifically present a barrier, and whether prequalification reciprocity would be a benefit to DBEs working in State DOT.


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Tuesdays and Thursdays - Sessions

 3/7/24 - 6/27/24



Tuesdays and Thursdays - Sessions

 3/7/24 - 6/27/24



  • What does DBE stand for?

    • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise – put what a DBE program is – it is different than pre-qual

  • What is DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise)

    • DBEs are for-profit small business concerns where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations.

    • African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.

  • Is DBE status required for pre-qualification/pre-approval?

    • No.

  • How do I enroll in the pre-qualification/pre-approval program?

    • Varies per State. Visit your state-specific DOT to learn more about the steps for pre-qualification/pre-approval program. You can find your state DOT by clicking here (embedded link to our resource page).

  • In what ways will preqaulifcation program benefit my business?

    • DOTs can procure work or services for a contract or service from firms that have been determined to be qualified or prequalified in specific categories. So, when a contract or service need arises for example, DOTs can use the Pre-Qualification programs to select firms to perform work that they have been prequalified in. They typically aren’t a guarantee for work, but open additional opportunities, where a firm can directly be selected or compete against other firms that are prequalified as well. The ins and outs of prequalified programs per state slightly change from state to state. Reduces competition / increase contracting opportunities / can save internal staff and process time. You can find more about your state DOT by clicking here (embedded link to our resource page).

  • What is the timeline for becoming pre-qualified/pre-approved?

    • The timeline is determined by your state DOT pre-qualification/Pre-approval timeline. Visit your state DOT to learn more. You can find your state DOT by clicking here (embedded link to our resource page).

  • Are there any fees associated with becoming pre-qualified/pre-approved?

    • Not typically. You can find more information on this by visiting your state DOT by clicking here (embedded link to our resource page).

  • What are the steps to becoming pre-qualified/pre-approved?

    • Each DOT has a process unique to their state, and if there is more than one prequalification program in that state, it may differ as well. You can find more information on this by visiting your state DOT by clicking here (embedded link to our resource page).

  • Why is pre-qualification/pre-approval significant?

    • Depending on the State, here are some examples of why it can be significant:​​
      • May need to be prequalified to do any contracted work/service.
      • Grant a firm permission to bid or perform contracted work/service for a specific period of time.

      • Increases odds of being solicited for a contract/service.

      • In some states, you can be directly selected to perform the contracted work/service.

      • Typically, you can request revisions to your firm’s status or expansion of services provided or can perform.

      • Some states have an indirect cost rate schedule as a part of the prequal program.

      • Sometimes you need to be prequalified to respond to an advertisement, RFP, or solicitation at the State or local level.

      • Some states automatically prequalify you as a registered subcontractor once prequalified.


Greetings, participants!


Welcome to the forum designed exclusively for DBEs and pre-qualified firms across all MAASTO States. This platform is dedicated to fostering dialogue, building relationships, and facilitating inquiries among members. To join the discussion, kindly register your account. For any inquiries or assistance, please reach out to us at:


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