SOURCE: Economic Empowerment Fund

August 26, 2013 12:40 ET

High Speed Rail Coming to Central Valley Is Good News for Certified Businesses, According to EEF

Contracting Certification Process Is Rigorous but Worth the Effort

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - August 26, 2013) - The California High Speed Rail project is becoming a reality and has a great need to work with companies based in the Central Valley. The project is expected to bring $140 billion in revenue during phase one and over $420 billion during phase two in the sectors of construction, professional services, food & beverage, manufacturing, and more. This also translates to a tremendous need for project leadership to work with companies based in the Central Valley.

"Companies interested in contracting with the project will be required to be certified to bid on any contracts," said Reynaldo Arellano, President of Economic Empowerment Fund (EEF). EEF is a foundation providing advocacy and education for the emerging market such as minority-, woman-, and service disabled vet-owned businesses. "For companies new to the certification process, it can appear to be an intimidating and stressful process for business owners. Individuals who have gone through the process can attest to the fact that it is worth the effort."

Victoria Sanchez De Alba, President of De Alba Communications, a minority/woman-owned, DBE certified public relations firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, is one example. "I always wanted to expand my client base into government work but didn't know how to get to them," said De Alba. "As I started the DBE certification, I felt intimidated and thought some of the questions to be bordered on invasive."

Initially De Alba was surprised at the difficulty she experienced with the certification process, especially since she has immense experience and professional skills in communications. However, she soon developed an understanding of the need to verify that she and her company are exactly what she had claimed them to be for the past twelve years in business.  

"The burden of proof fell on my ability to substantiate my claim of being a disadvantaged business enterprise," said De Alba. "I had to make a decision to either make excuses about the certification process or just do it. While gathering documentation for certification is tedious, my making the decision to just do it made the entire process easier. A further benefit came when I found a systematic approach to the organization of my documentation with a free online tool, I highly recommend the use of that tool to businesses interested in contracting with the California High Speed Rail project."

The free tools in the Procurement Vault provided guidance and a discreet format for getting questions answered, which can assist in building a new applicant's confidence in the certification process. Visit to register for a free company profile and access to free certification assistance tools.

About the Economic Empowerment Fund: The mission of the Economic Empowerment Fund is to promote opportunities for the under-served communities through education, informational programs, and advocacy. For more information, visit

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