Free marketing workshop offered for small businesses

Sellwood Bridge Project

The Sellwood Bridge project will offer a free marketing workshop for small businesses, as part of the project’s outreach to local disadvantaged businesses.  The event is Monday, January 9 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME), 4134 North Vancouver Avenue.  Pre-registration is required to attend.  To register, contact Lois D. Cohen Associates at 503-332-4869, 

“How to Market to Public Agencies and Primes” will be a highly interactive workshop for small businesses interested in sharpening their marketing skills. Participants will be seated with representatives from local agencies and prime contractors leading the Sellwood Bridge project.  The event will give local firms a chance to polish their marketing messages with firms that will soon be hiring sub-contractors to complete the $268 million Sellwood Bridge project. 

The workshop is part of Multnomah County’s program to reach out to local businesses, especially emerging small businesses and those owned by women and minorities.   Participants will learn how to:

  • Practice your “elevator speech” (the key qualities your company offers)
  • Define your marketing audience and develop your pitch
  • Understand what your target audience is looking for 

“We want to let local firms know the top qualities that prime contractors look for in the sub-contractors they hire,” said Lois Cohen, the workshop’s facilitator.

Multnomah County is the lead agency for the Sellwood Bridge project, in partnership with the City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation.  Slayden/Sundt is the joint venture team that will construct the project.  T.Y. Lin International leads the design team, in partnership with CH2M HILL.

Slayden/Sundt has set a goal of subcontracting 20% of the construction budget to Disadvantaged Minority, Women and Emerging Small Businesses (DMWESB’s).  DMWESB contracting efforts are targeted to reach $32 million.  Fifteen percent of the project’s design contract, or about $2.5 million, has been awarded to 12 DMWESB firms. 

The workshop is part of the project’s ongoing commitment to build the capacity of local DMWESB’s.  The bridge project is in the final design phase.  Construction of a detour bridge began this month and construction of the new bridge is scheduled to begin in July 2012.  For project information, visit


Mike Pullen, Communications Office, 503-988-6804,