TxDOT initiative gives Paris disadvantaged business a chance

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PARIS, Tex. (KXII) -- "We've had members of this community, people of different color, people of different backgrounds and also disadvantaged businesses, wanting to know how they can get involved with projects like this," said PEDC Director Michael Paris.

Paris says the PAVED program, or Projects Adding Value through Expanded Diversity, targets businesses with over half of their ownership held by people who are subject to racial, cultural or ethnic prejudice.

TxDOT is looking to bridge the gap for businesses like this by offering an inside look at upcoming projects and helping local contractors find their place within them.

"The reality is this; TxDOT needs many services, not just road construction, but other services that deal with their fleet, other services that deal with their people, other services that deal with many of the assets that they have," said Paris. "And so don't be intimidated because you may have a service that TxDOT can use and this event is to hopefully open that door for you."

TxDOT spokesperson Tim McAlvy says TxDOT will soon submit request for proposals for a $7.3 million expansion of Highway 82 in Fannin County and a $10.9 million expansion in Red River County.

PEDC Director Michael Paris wants Paris contractors to be ready to apply when that time comes.

"They can come to one of these PAVED meetings and learn about how the RFP process works and how somebody with a disadvantaged business can participate in that project," said Paris.

Paris says the highway expansions are a sign of growth in the area and wants to prepare Paris's economy for that kind of surge.

"It's important that the economic vitality that we have in Lamar County is accentuated and we feel like offering a service like this, in a much larger picture, will help people grow their jobs and grow their businesses," said Paris.

The PAVED event in Paris will be held at Love Civic Center on January 23 from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

You can register here: http://bit.ly/2CM8tio