JITA Contracting Inc.

Aquiring an 8 A Certification

1129 Narrow Gauge Ave Durango, CO

970-375-7699 Visit Website

With the help of the SBDC, Joel Aguilar was lucky enough to get his 8 a certification for JITA Contracting, Inc. from the SBA and has grown his business tremendously.

He explains, “It took us over five months of filling out over 1,300 pages of paperwork to get the 8 a certification as a Minority/Disadvantaged business. Very few that start the process get the certification. We’re the only contracting business this side of the I-25 corridor to have the designation.”

This designation gives him an advantage in earning large commercial and government construction contracts. The government has annual quotas to reach for doing business with small businesses in various classifications. By complying with all the requirements to earn the designation Aguilar is actually helping the Federal agencies fulfill their quotas.

“We get jobs we never could have gotten without this certification. It enables us to get bigger contracts and build our past-performance list, which will help us get more varied jobs.”
To handle all the projects, Aguilar hired two Project Managers that have experience with large commercial and government contracts – Mick Edelen and Pat Trainor.

An SBDC advisor reviewed the detailed business plan he had to submit stating what kind of experience he had, what kind of work they had done and why he thought he was qualified to handle these big projects. Carolyn Lobdell with PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center) also spent many hours helping Aguilar navigate the websites finding projects he could apply for. “She spent an unbelievable amount of time with us.”

JITA reaches out to the contracting officers at about 30 government agencies letting them know they are qualified and certified to handle their projects. In the past year and half this has earned them over one million dollars in contracts. Aguilar is also certified as a SDVOSB – Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.

Over the last ten years, Aguilar has attended numerous workshops sponsored by the SBDC, PTAC, and CDOT. “I call the SBDC all the time with key questions and always get answers. They always connect me to the person who can help me.”

Aguilar has owned JITA contracting for 13 years. In 2008, he started Durango Handyman to handle the smaller local jobs, while JITA does the large commercial and government projects. Durango Handyman does remodeling, additions, plumbing, carpentry, roofing, HVAC, installs appliances, builds decks and does almost anything a private individual or small business need. “We have 5 Project Managers and 22 employees on this side of the business.”

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