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Equitable Contracting

Contracting with ODOT

Here at the Oregon Department of Transportation, we work to create a safe and reliable multimodal transportation system that connects people and helps Oregon’s communities and economy thrive, and we rely on our contract partners to accomplish that goal.

We do it, in part, by spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually to improve the transportation system. While these projects benefit the state’s construction, engineering, and technical industries, systemic and process barriers make it difficult for Black, Indigenous, People of Color and women-owned businesses to compete successfully for our third-party contracts. State and federal programs exist to encourage equitable economic opportunities, but we can do better. We will do better.

We have set a goal

In our Strategic Action Plan, we set a goal to invest equitably in the local economy by increasing opportunities for Oregon Black, Indigenous, People of Color and women-owned businesses.

That’s pretty straightforward.

Dismantling the systemic barriers that have kept us from these investments begins with:
  • Reviewing our current engagement with Black, Indigenous, People of Color and women-led businesses.
  • Understanding why limited opportunities exist.
  • Identifying how we can best support these businesses throughout the state.
Our agency is shifting

As we learn more about effectively overcoming systemic barriers, we are shifting the way we do business: We are designing programs that engage Black, Indigenous, People of Color and women-owned businesses in the competitive contracting processes.

We believe that awarding more contracting and consulting dollars to these businesses will make our transportation system stronger and more aligned with the needs of the communities it serves.

We really care about this

Oregonians are different.

These differences make us strong and resourceful and bring new perspectives to every project. The people we work with represent the diversity of Oregonians, and we embrace these differences by continuing to create equitable contracting opportunities for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and women-owned businesses. This inclusivity also supports contracting capacity throughout the state, and in turn, helps our ability to deliver on projects and meet our federally required DBE utilization goals. And it helps us deliver on our mission.