Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Events

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March 2024


Effective marketing strategy, including creating and designing a website

A solid presence on social media can drive customers to your website and business. Learn how to use social media, how each platform works, and how customers use it. Learn when and how to create accounts for Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, and Linked In. See how social media can be linked to a company website.

An informative and easy-to-navigate website helps people discover more about your business and services. Learn with examples and templates how to take the preliminary steps to build a business website. Exercises include website design and branding. By the end of the session, you’ll understand where to get a domain name, costs and terms, general website creation and updating, content placement, and site publication.

Successfully responding to Requests for Proposals

This course is for Professional/Technical firms. Requests for Proposal, or RFPs, are posted by public agencies looking for contractors to get work done. Learn how to search for and find these RFPs on agency websites. We’ll read through an RFP, look at the components to understand what exactly is being requested, and make a plan for responding appropriately. Because some projects are bigger than others, it may be necessary to partner with other companies or contractors to meet the RFP requirements. We’ll discuss what this looks like and how to increase your chances of being selected. Receive a template to use for responding to an RFP and leave class with a completed draft template to use for future proposals.

OSHA 30 certification for construction

Gain a comprehensive understanding of how Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other safety regulations impact your worker responsibilities, day-to-day operations, and business development.

DBE Business Academy: Building a viable business – 206 Cash flow and workflow forecast

Examine cash flow forecasting and develop required tools to understand workflows and critical paths. This class will cover various business situations and emphasis will be placed on understanding the need to assess both human and asset capital capabilities.

Certified payroll focus seminar

State-funded and federally funded projects often require certified payroll. Learn where to look in the Special Provisions, how to understand the requirements, and what this means to your bottom line. We show you how to prepare the necessary reports by using the MnDOT-provided report or one of your own.

DBE Business Academy: Winning MnDOT work – 202 Preparing the tools

In this intermediate-level class, learn from MnDOT experts as they discuss useful tools and valuable lessons. Topics include alternative MnDOT contracting methods, small business contracting opportunities, prevailing wage, bid opportunities and how to do business with MnDOT.

First Aid|CPR|AED certifications training

Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, including how to use an automated external defibrillator. Our instructor is certified by the American Heart Association and will emphasize topics relevant to hazards on highway construction sites.

Full DBE and Workforce Collaborative meeting

The DBE and Workforce Collaborative is an advisory group of stakeholders from various industry groups interested in DBE and workforce diversity. The Collaborative’s goal is to increase the diversity of firms and people of color and women participation in the construction industry to reflect the demographics of the State of Minnesota by: Building the future workforce, expanding existing business and workforce skills, ensuring transparency, and connecting people and firms with each other. It is an open group that welcomes the participation of all who support the goal. Any organization or individual committed to the goal may participate by attending a Collaborative meeting.

  • March 20, 2023
  • 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Attend in person: location to be announced
  • Attend online: link will be provided closer to the event
  • Questions: bbjorklund@zanassoc.com

Effective business communication

In this course, students will be introduced to the importance of clear and concise written communication. The class will include how to plan, draft, revise and edit memos, emails, letters, texts, reports and diary entries. Templates and guidelines will be provided to participants, along with recommended best practices for communicating for results. Participants will learn to target their writing to both audience and purpose. We will also discuss the use of Chat GPT and how to use it effectively and appropriately in today’s business world.

DBE Business Academy: Winning MnDOT work – 302 A successful submittal

Gain an understanding of the components of a successful bid and review the submittal process. This advanced-level class includes presentations from prime contractors. Learn from their experience and what they look for from their subcontractors.

Landscaping: Job costing and bidding/estimating focus seminar

This seminar is for companies in Landscaping and Tree Cutting. Understand basic accounting concepts and budgeting for insurance, bonds, labor, equipment, material, subcontractors, and overhead.  Learn how to find bidding opportunities, review advertisements, thrive in the low bid environment, and submit quotes. Bring in plans and specs you are working on and consultants will walk you through the entire process:

  • make take-offs from the plans
  • successfully read the specs and general conditions
  • understand the various symbols and abbreviations
  • how to get approvals
  • scheduling impacts
  • understanding MnDOT contract specifications
  • how to prepare a bid

April 2024


Managing your business through a crisis

Business owners must know how to manage any number of crises. This class will provide considerations and tools to use when your business is faced with problems relating to cash flow or credit needs, accidents and insurance, employee problems, and public and client relationship problems. The instructor will also provide resources for cyber security and technology challenges.

DBE Business Academy: Staying out of trouble – 307 Construction law and contracts

This advanced-level class provides different legal components of a MnDOT contract, specifications, performance bonds and MnDOT forms.

DBE Business Academy: Becoming successful – 303 Sustainability

Prepare operational action plans. Discuss the need for implementing strategies to achieve action plan goals, how to navigate the ups and downs of owning a business, and the transitional phase from the DBE program. This is an advanced-level class.

DBE Business Academy: Strategic visibility – 308 Action plan

Create marketing goals and an action plan to achieve them, discuss the value of analyzing results, a marketing cycle and how to adjust your marketing strategy as your company grows. This is an advanced-level class.

Traffic control and electrical lighting: Job costing and bidding/estimating

This seminar is for companies in Traffic Control and Electrical Lighting. Understand basic accounting concepts and budgeting for insurance, bonds, labor, equipment, material, subcontractors, and overhead.  Learn how to find bidding opportunities, review advertisements, thrive in the low bid environment, and submit quotes. Bring in plans and specs you are working on and consultants will walk you through the entire process:

  • make take-offs from the plans
  • successfully read the specs and general conditions
  • understand the various symbols and abbreviations
  • how to get approvals
  • scheduling impacts
  • understanding MnDOT contract specifications
  • how to prepare a bid

Expanding your team with employees or subcontractors

A business isn’t a business without employees. If you plan to hire people to work for you, an understanding of human resources issues and employment law is crucial. We will walk you through creating a job description as well as making a job posting that will interest the best candidates for the position. Learn how to produce an employee handbook with the required components. Receive an initial template book for your business. We’ll also discuss personnel management requirements and the importance of a detailed job description and structured performance review. We provide resources for employment law assistance and discuss workman’s comp, health insurance, and general benefits.

Instead of hiring employees, partnering with the right people can be a great way to expand business opportunities. This class will include information on how to find subcontractors and partners when looking for work.

Using AASHTOWare and Bid Express

Learn how to register, access, and use the software that is used on MNDOT projects. Bid Express is the software for bidding. AASHTOWare is for project reporting, payroll submission and other reports.

Working with MnDOT: what to expect after the bid for construction firms

You won the bid!  Now what?  This class covers all the requirements that contractors must know about when performing work for MnDOT.  That includes understanding prevailing wage requirements, certified payroll reports, and labor compliance reports. Learn how to find resources at MnDOT such as forms and deadlines for filing and types of reports needed for each kind of project. Understand how to file pay requests, EEO reports, trucking reports, IC134 and subcontractor reports. Learn about closeout documents and how projects are finalized.

Working with MnDOT: What to expect after the selection for Professional/Technical firms

No job gets started till the paperwork is signed! We’ll discuss the basic components of executing a standard design contract for professional/technical terms. Learn about the pre-award audit and how to complete it, how to complete progress reports, invoicing, and meeting contract requirements.

Overhead considerations for Professional/Technical firms

For professional/technical firms, the overhead computation is an important part of doing business with MnDOT.  In this class, participants will learn about the allowed overhead components and computations, as well as fixed fees and profit allowances. Participants will compute a sample overhead rate and be provided with resources for what MnDOT allows in the overhead rate computation. The class will also include information on how to describe the difference between fixed hourly rate and a cost times multiplier. Learn about pre-award and audit materials and how to price time vs. unit price. Ultimately, you will understand the main components of the contract deliverables.

Trucking: Job costing and bidding/estimating

This seminar is for companies in Trucking. Understand accounting concepts and budgeting for insurance, bonds, labor, equipment, material, subcontractors, and overhead.  Learn how to find bidding opportunities, review advertisements, thrive in the low bid environment, and submit quotes. Bring in plans and specs you are working on and consultants will walk you through the entire process:

  • make take-offs from the plans
  • successfully read the specs and general conditions
  • understand the various symbols and abbreviations
  • how to get approvals
  • scheduling impacts
  • understanding MnDOT contract specifications
  • how to prepare a bid

May 2024


Developing and improving relationships with other contractors – focus seminar

This session is intended to foster collaboration and trust among firms (both DBE and non-DBE) to help the owners understand that this component is just as important as winning the work and doing the work. We’ll cover these key elements:

  • how to be a good partner
  • creating positive working relationships
  • enhancing communication with your business partners
  • incorporating a culture of accountability and reliability in your firm
  • how to become the partner of choice.

Paving: Job costing and bidding/estimating focus seminar

This seminar is for companies in Paving. Understand accounting concepts and budgeting for insurance, bonds, labor, equipment, material, subcontractors, and overhead. Learn how to find bidding opportunities, review advertisements, thrive in the low bid environment, and submit quotes. Bring in plans and specs you are working on and consultants will walk you through the entire process:

  • make take-offs from the plans
  • successfully read the specs and general conditions
  • understand the various symbols and abbreviations
  • how to get approvals
  • scheduling impacts
  • understanding MnDOT contract specifications
  • how to prepare a bid

Potential growth areas - prime contracts focus seminar

We all want to see our businesses flourish and grow. But growth needs to be managed so that quick growth does not harm the success of the company. Our team will provide suggestions on natural growth areas for your firm and how to successfully compete as a prime contractor.

Finding capital for your business

As your business grows, you may need to find money to fund facilities, people or new initiatives.  Learn about sources for capital such as loans, grants, investors, or partnerships. Understand a basic overview of financial management and managing cash flow.

Change orders focus seminar

Sometimes things come up on a project that were unexpected. Learn about the necessary paperwork to get paid for the work that wasn’t part of the original contract. The topic will be covered from the subcontractor’s perspective as well as the prime contractors’ perspective.

Full DBE and Workforce Collaborative meeting

The DBE and Workforce Collaborative is an advisory group of stakeholders from various industry groups interested in DBE and workforce diversity. The Collaborative’s goal is to increase the diversity of firms and people of color and women participation in the construction industry to reflect the demographics of the State of Minnesota by: Building the future workforce, expanding existing business and workforce skills, ensuring transparency, and connecting people and firms with each other. It is an open group that welcomes the participation of all who support the goal. Any organization or individual committed to the goal may participate by attending a Collaborative meeting.

  • May 15, 2024
  • 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Attend in person: location to be announced
  • Attend online: link will be provided closer to the event
  • Questions: bbjorklund@zanassoc.com

June 2024


There are no events yet scheduled for this month.


July 2024


Full DBE and Workforce Collaborative meeting

The DBE and Workforce Collaborative is an advisory group of stakeholders from various industry groups interested in DBE and workforce diversity. The Collaborative’s goal is to increase the diversity of firms and people of color and women participation in the construction industry to reflect the demographics of the State of Minnesota by: Building the future workforce, expanding existing business and workforce skills, ensuring transparency, and connecting people and firms with each other. It is an open group that welcomes the participation of all who support the goal. Any organization or individual committed to the goal may participate by attending a Collaborative meeting.

  • July 17, 2024
  • 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Attend in person: location to be announced
  • Attend online: link will be provided closer to the event
  • Questions: bbjorklund@zanassoc.com

August 2024


There are no events scheduled yet for this month.


September 2024


Full DBE and Workforce Collaborative meeting

The DBE and Workforce Collaborative is an advisory group of stakeholders from various industry groups interested in DBE and workforce diversity. The Collaborative’s goal is to increase the diversity of firms and people of color and women participation in the construction industry to reflect the demographics of the State of Minnesota by: Building the future workforce, expanding existing business and workforce skills, ensuring transparency, and connecting people and firms with each other. It is an open group that welcomes the participation of all who support the goal. Any organization or individual committed to the goal may participate by attending a Collaborative meeting.

  • Sept. 18, 2024
  • 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Attend in person: location to be announced
  • Attend online: link will be provided closer to the event
  • Questions: bbjorklund@zanassoc.com

October 2024


There are no events scheduled yet for this month.


November 2024


Full DBE and Workforce Collaborative meeting

The DBE and Workforce Collaborative is an advisory group of stakeholders from various industry groups interested in DBE and workforce diversity. The Collaborative’s goal is to increase the diversity of firms and people of color and women participation in the construction industry to reflect the demographics of the State of Minnesota by: Building the future workforce, expanding existing business and workforce skills, ensuring transparency, and connecting people and firms with each other. It is an open group that welcomes the participation of all who support the goal. Any organization or individual committed to the goal may participate by attending a Collaborative meeting.

  • Nov. 20, 2024
  • 9 – 11 a.m.
  • Attend in person: location to be announced
  • Attend online: link will be provided closer to the event
  • Questions: bbjorklund@zanassoc.com