Updated: 04/08/2013 12:42 PM KSTP.com By: Nick Winkler
The state made the commitment after learning it had identified just 29 veteran owned businesses working with MnDOT a year ago.
Alan Duff, a veteran himself, was hired to conduct a statewide search. Once a veteran owned contractor is identified, the company must earn certification.
Now, the state has identified as many as 115 veteran owned businesses that may be able to work on road construction projects.
Duff says Minnesota is now fifth in the nation in terms of veteran owned firms based on veteran population.
Richard Carron, a Vietnam veteran who started Valley Paving, is hiring veterans as subcontractors.
He says the state's program is important and has positively impacted veterans in the metro area. However, he says veteran firms in rural areas that may not yet have been verified are missing out on opportunities.
The effort to identify veteran firms will continue as the focus turns to building the new Vikings stadium.