The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is hosting a second daylong conference in Suffolk County on Wednesday as part of its effort to attract Long Island businesses -- specifically, companies that are women- or minority-owned -- to become prime contractors on MTA projects.

In partnership with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Long Island Rail Road, the MTA will be holding the conference at 9 a.m. at the H. Lee Dennison Building, on 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy. in Hauppauge. More than 80 small companies were represented at a similar event in Nassau County on April 15.

The outreach effort is aimed at increasing the number of local firms participating in the MTA's Small Business Development and Mentoring Program, meant to get more women- and minority-owned companies certified to bid on the authority's construction and services contracts. The agency is offering training and support to help businesses qualify to initially bid on projects up to $1 million.

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To participate in the program, business owners must go through 12 weeks of training. Their companies must be at least one year old and be state certified as minority- or women-owned. Companies designated as disadvantaged by the federal government, such as those owned by service-disabled veterans, could also qualify.

People interested in participating can RSVP to For more information, go to or call 646-252-1363.