Driving Equity: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

2167 Rayburn House Office Building and online via videoconferencing

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0 Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 10:00 | Contact: Justin Harclerode 202-225-9446

This is a hearing of the full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Official Transcript

Witness List:
Ms. Evalynn Williams, President, Dikita Enterprises; on behalf of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials | Written Testimony
Ms. Geri Boyer, President, Kaskaskia Engineering Group; on behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies | Written Testimony
Ms. Mary Lerdahl, Owner, Emerald Consulting Services | Written Testimony
Mr. Farad Ali, At-Large Board Director, Airport Minority Advisory Council | Written Testimony
Mr. Sandy-Michael McDonald, Director, Office of Economic and Small Business Development, Broward County, Florida | Written Testimony
Ms. Sandra Norman, Administrator, Civil Rights Division, Virginia Department of Transportation | Written Testimony
Mr. Jon Wainwright, Affiliated Consultant, NERA Economic Consulting | Written Testimony

Opening remarks, as prepared, of Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO):
We are here today to examine the DBE program and determine what, if anything, can be done to improve the program going forward. 

It has been 37 years since Congress first created the DBE program, which was intended to help small businesses owned and controlled by those facing discriminatory barriers in the transportation construction and airport concession industries.

Congress has recognized the success of the DBE program by continuing it and making adjustments as needed.

I look forward to hearing from today’s witnesses as to the progress that we have made toward realizing the goals of the DBE program, and what recommendations they have.    

Opening remarks, as prepared, of Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-IL):
I want to thank the witnesses for participating in this important hearing, and I want to give a special welcome to Ms. Geri Boyer.  It is great to see you and I appreciate the work you do for Illinois and across the Midwest.

The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, administered by the Department of Transportation, applies to airport construction, airport concessions, and surface transportation construction programs.  The program addresses discrimination against minority and women-owned businesses and provides those businesses within the transportation industry an equal opportunity to participate in billions of dollars of DOT-assisted highway, transit, and airport contracts each year.

The DBE program has been successful, and this Committee has demonstrated a bipartisan commitment to this program and to promoting fair and full access to transportation contracting opportunities.    

I commend you for holding this hearing today.  This is an important discussion – important to all of us in the room and those connecting remotely, and to the Nation as a whole.  


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