Business Diversity

Business Diversity

Small Business / Business Diversity

Business Diversity

When our suppliers succeed, Walbridge succeeds. That’s why we dedicate people and resources to develop lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships with our subcontractors, many of which are small businesses.

Our teams make a conscience effort to contract with women-owned business enterprises (WBEs), minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs), veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. To learn more about working with us, visit

Our supplier diversity mission can be summed up by the acronym B-R-I-D-G-E:

B = Build partnerships and relationships;
R = Reach out into the community through networking and training;
I = Include small businesses in the opportunities we have;
D = Document results and successes we’ve achieved together;
G = Guide them on how they can improve their organization; and
E = Endorse and support them so they’re able to provide better services to their customers.

Walbridge is an active member of key organizations across the nation that are dedicated to enhancing opportunities for minority-, veteran- and women-owned businesses. We’ve also worked with some of the biggest names in the automotive, education, federal government, healthcare and high-tech markets. We share a desire to enhance commerce, improve lives, build business opportunities and expand diversity where we operate around the country.

In 1996, Walbridge formed a mentoring relationship with Devon, a small construction company from Detroit. Both companies had worked for Ford Motor Company on separate projects. When Ford invited some of its Tier 1 suppliers to team up with select MBEs, Walbridge and Devon formed an even closer working relationship. Now, many years later, Walbridge and Devon (Devon Industrial Group) continue to partner on projects. In fact, the two companies are the only team from the original Ford program who are still working together.

Walbridge has been recognized on numerous occasions for its continued commitment to supplier diversity. In 2011, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC) named Walbridge as its corporation of the year in construction. In 2009, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America named Walbridge the first construction company to receive its MBE Development Award. Walbridge has been selected annually to received the MMSDC Corporate ONE Award for the past 13 years.

“When opportunities are expanded for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, our company benefits and our communities are enhanced,” said John Rakolta, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Walbridge. “We remain committed to helping these businesses advance, thrive and succeed.”


“The success of the program is driven by the leadership team and diversity department of Walbridge. They work to identify qualified W/MBEs to develop, guide and promote win-win business relationships. I treasure my working relationship with Walbridge.”
Vickie J. Lewis Owner VMX International, LLC
“Walbridge has provided contracting opportunities to many of our Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms, giving them an opportunity to grow and contribute to Michigan’s economy.”
Ann Williams Outreach Specialist Michigan Department of Transportation
To work with Walbridge as a supplier or subcontractor, check out our online Pre-qualification form. For help registering with the federal government as a small business, visit the Central Contractor Registration web site. Walbridge actively participates at the board of director level and as a member of several key organizations that support business diversity. They include: Learn more about Walbridge’s participation in industry and community organizations on our Affiliations page.