12 More State DOTs Sign EIP Pledge


DOT Chiefs of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington State, Wisconsin Signed Pledge on March 1

WASHINGTON, DC -- At an Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP) event on March 1 that was part of the 2023 AASHTO Washington Briefing, the chief executives of 12 state DOTs signed the Equity in Infrastructure Pledge. 

Through its Pledge, EIP secures commitments from public agencies to improve their contracting processes and create more prime, joint venture and equity contracting opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs), which will build generational wealth, reduce the racial wealth gap and grow the overall economy by including more Americans in the work associated with the ongoing historic investment in infrastructure.

In addition to the signers listed below, the March 1 event featured remarks from USDOT Under Secretary Carlos Monje; Roger Millar, Washington State Secretary of Transportation & AASHTO President; Phillip A. Washington, EIP Chair and Denver Airport CEO; and John Porcari, EIP Co-Founder and former USDOT Deputy Secretary.

The latest signers of the pledge were:

  • Roger M. Millar, Washington State Secretary of Transportation & AASHTO President

  • Craig Thompson, Secretary of Transportation, Wisconsin & AASHTO Vice President

  • Eileen M. Vélez-Vega, Secretary of Transportation and Public Works, Puerto Rico

  • Shoshana M. Lew, Department of Transportation Executive Director, Colorado

  • Garrett Eucalitto, Department of Transportation Commissioner, Connecticut

  • Nicole Majeski, Secretary of Transportation, Delaware

  • Ed Sniffen, Department of Transportation Director, Hawaii

  • Jim Gray, Transportation Cabinet Secretary, Kentucky

  • Paul Wiedefeld, Secretary of Transportation, Maryland

  • Nancy Daubenberger, Department of Transportation Commissioner, Minnesota

  • Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, Department of Transportation Commissioner, New Jersey

  • Kris Strickler, Secretary of Transportation, Oregon

“WSDOT is on a continuing journey to acknowledge the disparate impacts past DOT actions have had on overburdened communities, including working to increase the number of under-represented businesses contracting with our agency by instituting business assistance programs, mentorships and outreach,” said Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary & AASHTO President Roger M. Millar. “We’re proud of the successes we’ve had so far, but we also know more work, attention and dedication is needed to increase and improve equity in all our work and for all our residents.”

"In Colorado, we are proud to be showing the way to expand opportunity and create more dynamism among our industry partners. CDOT's Environmental Justice Branch is aggressively working to bring new and diverse businesses to work with the state, so that we do far more than simply comply with our DBE targets,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana M. Lew. “And we have proven that setting aggressive standards to recruit construction trades in historically underserved communities can strengthen DOT projects, offer new economic opportunities, and grow critical industries."

“The Connecticut Department of Transportation is committed to promoting equity in all aspects of our work,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “Significant infrastructure investments can enable Historically Underutilized Businesses to thrive and transform historically underserved communities. Now, more than ever, ensuring the benefits of contracting opportunities reach businesses owned by people of color and women and businesses that are socially and economically disadvantaged is critically important. Through the Equity in Infrastructure Pledge and our collective efforts to take intentional steps to provide economic opportunities, we can create more inclusive participation in contracting and expand access to opportunity for this generation and the next.”

“This pledge furthers DelDOT’s commitment to equity in transportation by expanding opportunities for HUBs across our state,” said Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski. “Over the course of this year we are implementing new training opportunities, streamlining our process, and creating specific contracts tailored towards advancing HUBs.”

“We are proud to link arms with member states to show our commitment to creating a level playing field for business enterprises that play a big role in building better communities through transportation,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “To ease the burden on qualified firms looking to compete in the marketplace, Kentucky established reciprocity agreements with two neighboring states. Signing this pledge is one of many steps toward greater inclusion.”

In January, through their participation in EIP, the chief executives of CTA and SEPTA signed a first-of-kind MOU to recognize each others' certified Small Business Enterprises (SBEs). The hundreds -- and even thousands -- of SBE/MBE/WBE and similar certification programs nationwide create a complex and costly bureaucratic barrier to HUBs being awarded public infrastructure contracts. The goal of this MOU is to move toward broader reciprocity and even a national certification database.

Previous signers include:

  • California State Transportation Agency – Dr. Toks Omishakin, Secretary
  • Chicago Transit Authority – Dorval R. Carter, Jr., President
  • Denver International Airport – Phillip A. Washington, CEO
  • District Department of Transportation – Everett Lott, Director
  • Illinois Department of Transportation – Omer Osman, Secretary
  • Kansas Department of Transportation – Julie Lorenz, Secretary
  • Port of Long Beach – Mario Cordero, Executive Director
  • Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development – Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – Adel H. Hagekhalil, General Manager
  • Michigan Department of Transportation – Paul C. Ajegba, P.E., Director
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) – Leslie S. Richards, General Manager and CEO
  • City and County of Denver, Colorado – Michael B. Hancock, Mayor
  • City of Philadelphia – Jim Kenney, Mayor

For more information, see: https://equityininfrastructure.org/

EIP was founded in anticipation of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and to answer President Biden's call to leverage infrastructure spending to build wealth in underserved communities. 

EIP receives generous support from Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, Social Impact Fund, The James Irvine Foundation, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, HNTB, STV, Anser Advisory LLC, Environmental Financial Consulting Group, Gannett Fleming, and AECOM.

EIP also benefits from its Advisory Council, which includes Diana Mendes, Corporate President for Transportation and Mobility Equity, HNTB (Chair); Greg Kelly, President & CEO, STV; Bryan Carruthers, Chief Executive Officer, Anser Advisory; G. Ramanujam, CEO, SOMAT; Eve Williams, President, Dikita Enterprises; Ingrid Merriwether, President & CEO, Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services; April Rai, President and CEO, COMTO; Eboni Winbush, President and CEO, Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC); Paul Skoutelas, President & CEO, American Public Transportation Association (APTA); Robert Puentes, President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation; Steve Hall, Senior Vice President for Advocacy & External Affairs, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC); Rebecca Zofnass, Managing Partner, Environmental Financial Consulting Group (EFCG); Wilbur C.  Milhouse III, PE, Chairman and CEO, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Dr. Leroy D.  Nunery II, President, Evolution Advisors, LLC; Esther McGinnis, Executive Vice President & Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG); Gannett Fleming; and Dwight H. Pullen, Jr., Senior Vice President, Global Aviation, AECOM.

Starting from the baseline of their current initiatives, by December 2025, Pledge signers commit to:

  1. Increasing the number, size and proportion of contracting opportunities going to HUBs;
  2. Increasing the number, size and proportion of contracting opportunities going to HUBs as prime contractors;
  3. Streamlining the administration of contracting with HUBs to centralize certification, improve payment time, and standardize transparent data collection;
  4. Increasing the amount and type of appropriate financing available to HUBs; and
  5. Expanding the number of Pledge signers.


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