Together, We Can Build a Better Future in Construction

What is the Construction Partnering Program?

The Association of Women Contractors (AWC) works in contract for the City of St. Paul on the program to foster the connection between Minority or Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE’s) and the majority construction firms. Participation in the Construction Partnering Program (CPP) will promote the economic development of the M/WBE’s through strengthening their capabilities and profitability. Partnerships will be developed and sustained through mentoring, networking, support groups, technical assistance, education and training.

Eligibility for Participation

General Contractor or Majority Owned Specialty Contractors are welcome to participate in this program to provide intentional mentorship to their partner.

M/WBE Firms must be a Minority or Woman owned business.  They must be a certified business and maintain their status as an M/WBE for the duration of the partnership. Accepted Certifications include: 

  • Central Cert Program (M/WBE)
  • HUD Section 3

Why Be a Part Of CPP?

How Does CPP Work?

Female engineering team working at construction site


The purpose of the Partnership Plan is to establish detailed plans and objectives for meeting the developmental needs of the M/WBE and achieving the goals of the partnerships. The key elements of the plan may include the following:

Partnership Formation

Interested M/WBE’s will be expected to initiate a partnership relationship with a majority subcontractor or prime contractor. Typically, the CPP partnering relationships develop from an existing relationship between the M/WBE and the majority contractor. Consideration for participation in the CPP will begin with the completion and submittal of the general interest form. Program participants will be selected and approved by the CPP administrator based on eligibility and alignment of the partnership with program goals.

Partnership Duration

Participating firms agree to enter into a partnering agreement for the duration of three years.

Memorandum of Understanding

A representative of the M/WBE firm and majority contracting firm will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU)indicating their commitment to the partnership. The purpose of the MOU is to clearly define the expectations of both parties throughout the duration of the partnership. The MOU includes a confidentiality clause. All parties signing the MOU agree to hold all information provided by participating companies in confidence in accordance with the agreement.


Discussing cost of construction

Provide access to projects and contract opportunities for M/WBE firms

Architect Engineer And Manual Worker Meeting In Construction Site

Develop ongoing, mutually beneficial partnerships between M/WBEs and established firms in the construction industry

Female engineering team working at construction site

Build capacity in terms of revenue and employment through business development and mentorship

Current Partnerships


CPP Meetings

Quarterly Progress Meetings

The M/WBE and their partner will be expected to attend quarterly progress meetings with the CPP program administrator. The meeting will focus on progress review, planning next steps and evaluating contracting opportunities for the partnership. The program administrator will assist in the resolution of any problems or issues that may surface in the partnering relationship. 

Regular Program Meetings

The M/WBE member will be expected to attend regular CPP program meetings – held 7 times per year. The program administrator will track progress and challenges with regard to the partnership plan and goals. The program administrator will support the M/WBE member in problem-solving, identifying resources and strategies to leverage the partnership. 


News from around the industry

AWC's Role & Partnership Plan

Manage the monthly CPP meetings.

Match established firms with developing M/WBE businesses and help develop the partnering relationship and MOU goals.

Promote and grow the CPP program.

The AWC will assist partners in the development of the Partnership Plan. The purpose of the Partnership Plan is to establish detailed plans and objectives for meeting the developmental needs of the M/WBE and achieving the goals of the partnerships.