Nevada Examines Lack of State Projects for DVBEs

Disabled veteran business programs are in need of support across the country.

Source : Contractor News

May 7, 2024

Author : Alex Bustillos

Veterans with disabilities receive preferential bidding opportunities in Nevada State Public Works Department contracts. In Nevada, as in California, exists a DVBE program. This stands for Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises.

Contractor News has covered over the years the development of veteran and disabled veteran business programs across the country. We have looked also at the lack of such programs in many states.

In 2023 Nevada's Public Works Department (PWD) saw that of the 32 contracts that were eligible for preferential bidding for service-connected disabilities, they didn’t receive any qualified bidders.

To be eligible for preferential bidding, a disabled veteran must be pre-qualified with the PWD of the Nevada Department of Administration. Currently, there are only four such qualified local businesses. 

Preferential bidding is applicable only to projects costing less than $250,000. For projects billed below $100,000 veterans with any degree of disability are given preference. But only those with 50% or more disability are considered for projects ranging between $100,000 to $250,000. 

However, the problem is that only a very small proportion of projects cost less than $250,000. The Deputy Administrator of Public Works, Brian Wacker, said that he has seen one of the disabled veteran-owned businesses get approval for a $5 million project.

Legislators are at a loss on how to encourage more disabled vets to take part in such projects. Administrator Will Lewis explained to lawmakers on the Legislative Committee on Senior Citizens, Veterans and Adults With Special Needs that although he doesn’t have “preconceived conceptions” of how to mitigate this issue, he was open to ideas. 

Assemblyman Ken Gray, R-Dayton, suggested that the department should reconsider the dollar value of projects where preferential bidding is allowed. 

Category : Disabled Veteran Businesses Veteran Business Disparity Studies State Government

Related Update