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News Release
Dec. 2, 2011

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Minnesota Department of Transportation
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Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899

 

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Transportation projects hiring more women, minorities and disadvantaged businesses shows three-year improvement   

                                

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The number of minority and women workers, as well as disadvantaged businesses employed on transportation construction projects, has steadily increased during the past three years, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  

Statistics show that 3,200 workers were employed on federally funded state transportation construction projects during the peak period in August 2011. Of these, 272 workers were minorities (8.5 percent of the workforce), up from 168 (7.5 percent) in 2010 and 114 (6.1 percent) in 2009. In addition, there were 143 women (4.5 percent) hired in 2011, compared to 87 (3.9 percent) in 2010 and 62 (3.3 percent) in 2009.

 

“The commitment to address joblessness is a cornerstone of MnDOT’s civil rights program and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Workforce Collaborative,” said Mary Prescott, director of MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights. “Minnesota is helping to level the playing field for women and minorities, and it is rewarding to see our efforts to develop a diverse workforce produce results.”     

                                                                                                                                                       

Prescott said that MnDOT’s on-the-job training program, which establishes apprenticeships targeted to move women, minorities and disadvantaged persons into professional positions, as well as community programs that develop heavy equipment and construction-related training, have contributed to the increase in the number of women and minorities in transportation construction.

 

Workers employed on federally funded transportation construction projects in August, 2011

 

2011

2010

2009

Total Employment

3,200

2,251

1,873

Total Minorities

272

168

114

Total Women

143

87

62

% Minorities

8.5%

7.5%

6.1%

% Women

4.5%

3.9%

3.3%

 

 

MnDOT also announced the 2011 DBE participation rate on construction projects is 7.6 percent compared to 5.6 percent participation rate in 2010. Any MnDOT, county or city project receiving federal funds establishes a DBE goal. DBE specialists, in consultation with MnDOT’s Office of Construction and the project manager, evaluate each project’s location, size, work type and the availability of DBEs. These DBE project goals are included in the contract or proposal for the project.

 

“This year’s DBE participation is a result of the productive partnership between MnDOT and the DBE and Workforce Collaborative who are collectively evaluating the effectiveness of a revised DBE contract provision,” Prescott said. “We look forward to continued progress leading to sustainability in meeting DBE goals over the next several years.”

 

The Transportation Equity Network recently cited Minnesota as one of only four states that increased access to federal highway construction jobs for women and minorities. The report,The Road to Good Jobs: Making Training Work (October 2011), identified the state’s success in increasing the number of women and minorities in federal highway road construction training programs from 2008 to 2010. The other states were Hawaii, which led the way with 8.2 percent, and Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, whose numbers were between 6 to 7 percent each.  

 

Prescott credits changes in MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights as well as the creation in 2008 of the Minnesota Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Workforce Collaborative for contributing to this success.

 

“This year’s DBE participation is a result of the productive partnership between MnDOT and the DBE and Workforce Collaborative who are collectively evaluating the effectiveness of a revised DBE contract provision,” Prescott said. “We look forward to continued progress leading to sustainability in meeting DBE goals over the next several years.”

 

The Transportation Equity Network recently cited Minnesota as one of only four states that increased access to federal highway construction jobs for women and minorities. The report,The Road to Good Jobs: Making Training Work (October 2011), identified the state’s success in increasing the number of women and minorities in federal highway road construction training programs from 2008 to 2010. The other states were Hawaii, which led the way with 8.2 percent, and Minnesota, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, whose numbers were between 6 to 7 percent each.  

 

Prescott credits changes in MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights as well as the creation in 2008 of the Minnesota Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Workforce Collaborative for contributing to this success.

 

“MnDOT created the DBE and Workforce Collaborative to balance competing interests and improve diverse workforce participation on roadway projects, including establishing training programs that ensure workforce participation in the transportation industry reflects the demographics of Minnesota,” she said.

 

For more information about MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights and its programs, see www.mndot.gov/civilrights/

 

For more information about the Minnesota DBE & Workforce Collaborative, see

www.mncollaborative.org/

 

The Transportation Equity Network report is available at: www.transportationequity.org/Making-Training-Work-final.pdf.

 

 

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