PWE Mentor - Protege Program

Tony Henshaw, Manager

The Small Business Development Group administers the Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) for the Department of Public Works & Engineering.

The MPP was established, in conjunction with other local government agencies, for assisting certified, minority and/or women-owned (SMWBE) engineering firms (Protégés) to grow and develop their businesses in the areas of marketing, human resources, sales, financial analysis, etc., under the guidance of prime firms (Mentors).

Program Commitments:

Mentors – Review Protégés’ materials (business plan, action plan, etc.) and key indicators (cash flow, insurance, projects, etc.), recommend areas of improvement, follow up on mutual agreements for action, and submit Program Evaluation Assessments at designated intervals.

Protégés – Present complete and up-to-date information (business and action plans, cash flow, insurance, work-in-progress, etc.) in a timely manner, implement mutually agreed upon changes, request assistance as necessary, and submit Program Evaluation Assessments at designated intervals.

Program Enhancements:

Beginning in 2015, the following enhancements were added to the MPP to encourage higher levels of participation and benefits for both Protégés and Mentors.

Mentor/Protégé Pool– Protégé firms may team up with different mentors to:

  • Acquire new skills under Mentors with specific, desired skill sets to increase expertise and marketability;
  • Learn a variety of successful business practices;
  • Strengthen the quality of Mentors’ SOQ submittals; and
  • Provide additional teaming opportunities for Protégés.

Simple Selection-“First Look” –  In order to increase the selection of MPP participants as prime consultants, the PWE Department will give consideration, first, to participating Protégé firms in the MPP on ‘simple selections’, then other firms in the following order:

  • Protégés
  • Mentors
  • All Other Firms.  

SOQ Points for MPP Participants – Based upon the number of years in the MPP, Mentor and Protégé firms are awarded additional points when submitting as prime consultants during Statement of Qualification (SOQ) review.

Admitting New Mentors into the Program – Two (2) additional Mentors will be admitted to the MPP in 2015 who possess new and unique skills.  Additional Mentors will be added as the program permits.

SOQ Points for Teaming – The PWE Department will award additional points to Mentor firms for each Protégé firm included on their team.

Final Project Closeout Evaluation – The Department will award additional points to Mentor firms at project closeout as part of the final evaluation if Protégé firm participation exceeds the proposed project goal.

MPP Logo on Websites – Mentors and Protégés are encouraged to add the MPP logo and their participation status to their websites.  PWE will list all MPP participants on its website.

Program Graduation:

Protégé firms will be considered successful and ready to ‘graduate’ from the MPP upon meeting three (3) of the following five (5) criteria.

  • Three (3) years in MPP
  • Two (2) years of consecutive selection as prime consulting firms
  • Three (3) years of demonstrated teaming with non-Mentor firms
  • Increased revenue year-to-year
  • New hires added to firm

The following firms are Mentors in the City of Houston PWE Mentor-Protégé Program:

  • Hatch-Chester
  • EJES Incorporated
  • Freese and Nichols, Inc.
  • Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.
  • KCI Technologies, Inc.
  • Neel-Schaffer, Inc.

The following firms are Protégés in the City of Houston PWE Mentor-Protégé Program:

Mentor-Protégé Management Plan Form: CLICK HERE

Original PowerPoint version of the MPP Enhancements: CLICK HERE

Mentor-Protégé Program Agreement and Application
  • Guiding Protégé To Success Agreement: CLICK HERE
  • Guiding Protégé To Success Application: CLICK HERE