The CalVet Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) program received a prestigious honor this week in the nation’s capital.
The DVBE program was awarded the Pillars of Excellence for Innovative State Programs by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) during the organization’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.
As the state advocate for DVBEs, CalVet Secretary Dr. Vito Imbasciani accepted the award from VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin and National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs President and Director of the Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs Verdie Bowen.
California’s DVBE program was created to ensure at least 3 percent of all state contracting dollars are awarded to DVBEs. That 3 percent means millions of dollars annually go directly to veteran-owned businesses, enabling them to create jobs and expand their businesses. The program seeks to level the playing field, enabling California’s DVBEs to compete more fairly and effectively for a portion of the state’s contracting dollars.
“I am proud to note that the state of California has met or exceeded that 3 percent goal for each of the past five years,” Dr. Imbasciani said. “In fact, as a single agency, CalVet nearly quadrupled that goal this past year by spending 11.82 percent of our contracting budget doing business with the veterans we serve.”
The program, administered by California’s Department of General Services in close consultation with CalVet, has been tremendously successful. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the DVBE program exceeded the 3 percent goal by awarding 4.3 percent of contracts to veteran-owned smalls businesses. That is $439 million dollars of contracts awarded to our nation’s heroes.
“Veteran-owned small businesses and disabled-veteran business enterprises are essential to the good health of our economy and are a principal source of new jobs in California,” Imbasciani said. “Our team at CalVet, including our Deputy Secretary for Veterans Services, Keith Boylan, our Assistant Deputy Secretary Michael Magee, our program manager for DVBE outreach Jamie Jones, as well as her staff, have gone to great lengths to ensure that California veterans get a shot at doing business with the state.”
For more information regarding the DVBE program, click here.