The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to expand outreach and marketing in support of small business utilization on the high-speed rail system. On Friday, April 12, Robert Padilla, the Authority’s Small Business Advocate signed a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with Elizabeth Echols the SBA’s Regional Administrator.

The two-year agreement outlines the Authority and SBA’s joint outreach efforts to strengthen and expand Central Valley Small Business participation in the initial construction of the high-speed rail system.

“The partnership is a major step forward in solidifying the Authority’s Small Business goals,” said Authority CEO Jeff Morales. “The Authority has made a major commitment to including Small Businesses in the high-speed rail program. Thousands of Central Valley residents, small business owners and their employees will receive good-paying jobs and help us to build a world-class transportation system.”

“This is a win-win for the Authority, the Small Business Administration, and the Central Valley Small Businesses,” said Robert Padilla, Authority Small Business Advocate. “Letting Small Businesses know about the opportunities that are available is a huge effort and we’ll need all-hands on deck to get it done. We’re thankful that the SBA has graciously joined us to accomplish this task.”

The Central Valley portion of high-speed rail is expected to create 20,000 jobs annually over a five year period. Last year the Authority Board approved a Small Business Program which has a 30 percent goal for SB participation, including Small Businesses (SB), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (DVBE) and Micro-Businesses (MB). The overall Small Business goal also includes a 10 percent DBE Participation Goal and a 3 percent DVBE participation goal. Every Central Valley high-speed rail contract will include a performance plan on how the small business goals will be achieved.