Mississippi contractors display their certificates after completing a program of the Model Contracto

Mississippi contractors display their certificates after completing a program of the Model Contractor Development Program and the Surety & Fidelity Association of America

Sixteen Mississippi-based small and emerging contractors recently earned certificates for completing an educational program based on the Model Contractor Development Program (MCDP) of The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA).

The educational program was established to assist the state's minority and small businesses in increasing their bonding capacity. The Mississippi initiative is part of SFAA's national effort to assist contractors in becoming “bond-ready.”

“Nowhere is the need for bonding support more apparent than in the Gulf Coast region,”said Lynn M. Schubert, SFAA president. “Efforts to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure and rebuild the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina have the potential to provide unique opportunities for local emerging contractor participation.”

Since its inception more than eight years ago, the MCDP has provided education about surety bonds; identified resources available for obtaining a first bond; provided assistance and referrals for obtaining appropriate accounting, project management and financing expertise; and directly assisted a number of small contractors in achieving bond readiness.

Mississippi is the first location in the country to complete this educational component of MCDP. Similar program are in progress in New Orleans and Chicago, and plans are in place to implement the MCDP in several more locations, including Boston, Philadelphia and Indianapolis, by the end of the year.

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