Dedicated to Your Business

Hensel Phelps is dedicated to small business outreach and achieving the highest possible level of diverse business inclusion on each of the projects our company undertakes. As a leading general contractor within the industry, it is important that we set an example. Our professionals are accountable for the implementation of this corporate commitment and work hard to customize an overall outreach plan to reach small and emerging businesses in our preconstruction, purchasing, and construction efforts. Not only do we host and attend outreach events for the small business community, but we also solicit opportunities for these contractors. We help them work more efficiently internally and with larger subcontractors — mentoring small businesses through prequalification, and creating, managing and unbundling (when feasible) scopes of work to attract the best opportunities. Hensel Phelps also holds numerous networking events related to existing and upcoming procurements. These events are designed to reach out to local small business communities, elected officials, and the surrounding neighborhoods as a whole.



Brad Lewis, our Corporate Director of Supplier Diversity, works with his team and directly with leadership in each of our district offices to assure that we not only comply with client objectives regarding subcontractor participation, but that we make every effort to support these small subcontractors’ growth through mutually beneficial partnerships. The end goal is to foster a healthy, competitive local business community where we all can thrive. 


Small Business Programs

Technical Assistance Program

Our company’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP) offers practical support to small business subcontractors with whom Hensel Phelps does –or is seeking to do- business with. Presenters from our procurement and estimating groups, safety, quality control, and project management collaborate with our Supplier Diversity professionals to provide a presentation detailing key contact personnel within the firm, policies, procedures, and project expectations –the focus being on fostering a successful and profitable experience working with Hensel Phelps.

TAP addresses many areas where small and minority-owned businesses need our help. These include:

  • Scheduling and manpower analysis
  • Safety program review and evaluation
  • Quality control program review and evaluation

Hensel Phelps also proactively trains small businesses to ensure appropriate cash management. This is achieved through the following methods:

  • Assisting with Schedule of Values for payment requisitions to help small business maintain positive cash flow
  • Formulating joint checks with second-tier subcontractors and suppliers
  • Using bi-weekly payment when needed to help fund payroll

All of the material covered is organized around a central goal of helping these contractors work successfully with Hensel Phelps on our projects –thereby promoting overall growth, and providing new opportunities for the participants.

Head Start Bonding Assistance Program

Hensel Phelps, in a combined effort with The Barbour Group, has developed an exclusive program entitled the Head Start Bonding Assistance Program. The Barbour Group, a woman-owned small business, provides bonding and commercial insurance, and the programs seeks to break down bonding barriers and help small businesses overcomes challenges unique to their operations by addressing any issues affecting these businesses with total transparency.

After completing these exercises:

  • 92% of first-time surety bond applicants received approval
  • 100% of U.S. Small Business Administration Surety Bond Guarantee Program applicants received bond approvals

Since 2009, Hensel Phelps has used Head Start to provide $72.9 million in bonds to small businesses unable to obtain bonding through a standard surety program.

Emerging Trade Partners Program

The Hensel Phelps’ Emerging Trade Partner small business program is a two-year program based in our Mid Atlantic District that is focused on engaging opportunity-ready, small and minority-owned businesses and identifying capacity building opportunities with Hensel Phelps. Participants of the program receive direct one-on-one business development and project support in an effort to build relationships with project team members, and to communicate best practices for a successful project experience.

Interested in learning more about our Emerging Trade Partner program or looking to start a program in your area? Contact Brad Lewis at for more information on how you can participate in our Emerging Trade Partner program.