How is ODOT ensuring project contracting and workforce opportunities are equitable, and in line with diversity objectives for the agency?

We are committed to doing business differently with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors by providing more contracting and, in turn, workforce opportunities than ever before. Our top priority is ensuring minorities and women gain the benefit of short-term local workforce trade employment, but also develop the skills through apprenticeships for long-term wealth generation.

With a focus on restorative justice, the project is committed to leveraging deep ties with the historic Albina community to ensure meaningful involvement with Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors and using input from the community to help shape the project and outcomes for the community including supporting generational wealth.

The Construction Manager/General Contractor was brought on board and under contract in Fall 2020, with substantial work packages for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise contractors as early as next year.

We have also implemented strategies to hold the construction contractor accountable, such as small business capacity strengthening, technical assistance and robust performance metrics. Additional strategies include a clear vision and guiding principles, along with engaging a Community Oversight Advisory Committee to help ODOT in accountability and oversight of the construction team.

The Community Oversight Advisory Committee, convened March 2019, provides oversight and recommendations that will be essential to developing a successful program that maximizes Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and local minority and women in workforce utilization and aims to create economic opportunities by investing in local workers which results in reinvestment by those workers into the local economy. The Construction Manager/General Contractor is currently working with the committee to develop the workforce diversity plan.