News | Nov 22, 2022 | Christine Furey
Arora Engineers Graduates from DBE Program
We are pleased to announce that Arora Engineers (Arora) has graduated from the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program.
On Wednesday November 16, 2022, Arora invited esteemed colleagues, business partners, and staff to celebrate this momentous event. Guests gathered at Arora’s Chadds Ford Headquarters office to celebrate our nearly four decades of success, which ultimately led the firm to exceed DBE program size standards and graduate from the program. While we are fortunate enough to graduate from the program, we’re excited to continue growing the great partnerships and customer relationships we’ve built through the program over the years and continue our journey as a leading minority-owned and operated company, expanding on the prior growth we’ve achieved while being part of the program.
Founded in 1986 by Manohar (Mike) Arora, MS, PE shortly after immigrating to the United States, Arora initially specialized in electrical engineering, and its first office was in the basement of their family home. As the business grew, additional services were added including mechanical, plumbing, fire alarm and suppression, and security/special systems engineering. In 2007, Arora became a certified DBE by the PAUCP and constructed their new, state-of-the-art 26,000SF corporate headquarters in Chadds Ford, PA. By 2015, Arora employed over 100 staff members and achieved DBE certification in 15 states. “As we grew, our goal was always to put excellent work products first, no matter what certifications we held, and because of this we quickly outgrew the program” said Manik Arora, President & CEO of Arora Engineers, who was “honored to be able to bring together our colleagues, partners, and staff to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Our diversity certifications have opened doors and given us the opportunity to work with a variety of firms including AECOM, Urban Engineers, Jacobs, and many others for some of the nation’s largest infrastructure clients including the Philadelphia International Airport, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Massachusetts Port Authority, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Los Angeles World Airports Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and hundreds of other important agencies. Where certification and meeting a goal initially was the driver to contract opportunities, as our skills, relationships, staff and experience grew, the reliance on our certification diminished. Our growth is a direct result of these successful client and agency partnerships and our certifications have served as a springboard for Arora to pursue exciting contracts across the nation where we are being hired not only to meet diversity goals, but to contribute our technical expertise for a variety of national projects. Jorge Chaves, Vice President Director at AECOM, reflected, “AECOM is proud to have Arora as part of [their] family, and to bring diversity and the technical excellence only achieved with diverse perspectives to the large projects [our team] is a part of.”
Today, we have expanded to 15 offices worldwide, employ over 200 employees, and maintain three subsidiary companies, Electronic Data (EDI), Arora Technology Group (ATG), and Arora Systems Group (ASG). Arora consistently ranks as an ENR Top 500 Design Firm, as well as one of BD+C’s top ten airport facility engineering firms in the U.S. and was recently ranked #4 on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Minority-owned Businesses list for 2022, making Arora the overall largest minority-owned Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) firm in the Philadelphia Region.
As a minority owned, second-generation family business, diversity is at the core of Arora’s values which is not only shown at the top level, but throughout the firm with nearly 50% of our staff being minority or female. Arora prides itself on being a positive and consistent force in developing talented teams including an experienced network of minority- and women-owned businesses and disadvantaged businesses as our partners. Although we graduated from the federal DBE program, Arora plans to continue working with, mentoring, and paying it forward to small and local DBE firms across the country.
Earlier this year, Arora partnered with Jacmel Growth Partners, a minority-owned, private investment firm focused on working with family-owned businesses, further supporting our leadership team as we continue executing on our long-term growth goals. Jacmel’s resources have already allowed us to further give back to the communities we service through tailored diversity and impact initiatives. Nick Jean-Baptiste, Founder and Managing Partner of Jamel Growth Partners said of the firm “I’ve never met another Arora, a company that has been so fundamental to supporting the American Dream as immigrants themselves who created a company that now provides for nearly 225 families across America.”
Arora continues to be 100% minority owned and run and managed by Manik Arora. There is no change to our Minority Business Entity (MBE) certifications and status in all of the jurisdictions we were previously certified. Additionally, in accordance with DBE contract rules, in most cases any contract on which we were DBE certified at the RFQ and contract execution stage, are grandfathered into our status at that time for the life of the contract.
We are proud of this accomplishment and look forward to continuing to grow as a company. We are thankful for the DBE program, and its long-term impact on our industry partnerships, strong growth trajectory, and success as a firm. Celebrating our graduation from the program is only one step in our continued goal of supporting our diverse employee base and local communities. A special thank you to Jacmel Growth Partners and AECOM, as well SLKOne, Morrison Foerster, ADCI, EMSDC, Jacobsen|Daniels, Abstract Group, Inc., Jacobs, Citrin Cooperman, Ballard Spahr, KeyBank, D.A. Davidson Companies, Squire Patton Boggs, and Urban Engineers for attending the celebration and for their years of continuous partnership.