Our Mission

  • Improve program participants’ state of business maturity
  • Enhance bid proposal skills
  • Teach sound project management approach 
  • Provide one-on-one assistance to DBEs "ready, willing and able" to improve their capabilities

College of Engineering Mentor-Protege Program Logo

The UAH Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) is part of a state-funded program through the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). It's designed to provide business guidance and advanced supportive services to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) in the state highway construction industry. MPP's team of consultants help build mutually beneficial relationships between well-established Prime contractors (mentors) and our DBEs (protégés).


  • Mentoring Primes fulfill state-issued DBE subcontracting goals

  • DBE protégés gain exposure to ALDOT projects, become more competitive

Program Process

  • NEEDS ASSESSMENT - Creates a snapshot of DBE firm's business details and determines maturity level. Identifies area where DBE firm needs help and training.
  • CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT - Reviews DBE firm size, project portfolio, technical and business processes, ability to bid and win work, equipment and capital.
    • Tier I - Very small or new businesses; limited business processes and business technology capability.
    • Tier II -  Basic business processes and business technology capability; capable of doing projects unaided; adequate staffing.
    • Tier III -  Mature company; sound business practices and technologies. General contractors license (existing or qualified to obtain); appropriate staff/crew levels to perform multiple jobs. Tier Three DBEs are bidding and winning work. 
  • Targeted Training - Targeted training based on assessments in the form of group, virtual, and specific one-on-one training. 
    • UAH MPP consultants have orchestrated/delivered wide-ranging training, including OSHA, project management, marketing, contracts, plans & specifications, and bidding/estimating.

Program Eligibility

ALDOT Certified DBEs in the highway/bridge construction sector are eligible to participate in the UAH/ALDOT Mentor-Protege Program provided they have:

  • ALDOT certification in construction-related work types.
  • Completed preliminary assessment and recommendation by a UAH Mentor-Protege Program consultant.
  • Approval for participation from Alabama Department of Transportation's DBE Program unit.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Mentor-Protégé Program
Olin B. King Technology Hall
5000 Technology Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899

Dr. Sampson Gholston, 256.824.7310, gholsts@uah.edu

Ronica Ondocsin, PE, 256.824.6466, ronica.ondocsin@uah.edu

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