MnDOT announces latest DBE goal efforts
Agency notes progress and will increase efforts to meet program goal
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation has reached an 8.5 percent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contract rate for the federal fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2016, the agency said today. MnDOT’s goal for that same time period was 11.7 percent.
“The report shows an increase in DBE participation from 2015,” said Kim Collins, MnDOT’s Office of Civil Rights director. “The Office of Civil Rights and the agency will continue working with public and private sector stakeholders to meet the goal. We are confident that using race/gender-neutral small business training to build capacity and financial literacy will improve DBE participation in MnDOT programs. We will continue to explore technological and administrative solutions to supporting DBE success, and we welcome any certified DBE companies that are not now working on our projects to contact us and learn how to get involved with our program.”
The DBE program is a federal small business program intended to help provide contracting opportunities for firms owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
MnDOT is required by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Authority to set statewide goals for a three-year period for disadvantaged business participation in federally funded projects. The goal for the 2016 to 2018 period for Federal Highway Administration assisted projects is 11.7 percent.
The calculation to determine the goal includes the number of DBE firms that may be available and an analysis of the geographic market area. Contractors are required to meet the DBE goal on MnDOT projects that are either partially or fully paid for with federal funding, or show that they made a good faith effort to meet the goal.
Moving forward, Collins said MnDOT is committed to:
- Continuing to increase the number of offices within the agency working collaboratively to expand opportunities for DBE participation on MnDOT projects to meet the agency’s DBE goals
- Facilitating cooperation between prime contractors and DBEs early in the construction project cycle
- Providing certified DBEs with the tools to develop the sustainable business processes needed to bid and be successful on future MnDOT projects
- Identifying where contract funds are allocated so projects can maximize DBE participation
- Increasing efforts to dedicate resources for DBE opportunities in design and monitoring of MnDOT construction projects
Collins noted that the use of mapping technology in 2017 will improve DBE participation in Greater Minnesota. She said that while MnDOT is not meeting the overall program goal, on a project-by-project basis, prime contractors meet the DBE goals set for the projects almost every time.
The Office of Civil Rights continues to support diversity and inclusion in its programs and specifically to improve its efforts in DBE goals.