New goal and networking opportunity for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to assist small businesses that are owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minorities and women, in participating in contract opportunities created by USDOT financial assistance programs. The program also helps small nonminority owned businesses participate in contract opportunities. The three major DOT operating administrations involved in the DBE program are Highway (FHWA), Aviation (FAA) and Transit (FTA).

MARC is required by the USDOT to have a DBE Program because it is a FTA recipient of planning, capital or operating assistance and awards prime contracts. Among other things, DBE regulations require recipients of USDOT financial assistance to establish goals for the participation of DBEs. Our current DBE participation goal is 20 percent, which we’ve consistently met.

Every three years, we must recalculate our goal based on an established USDOT goal calculation methodology and make changes to the program as necessary. After running the numbers, MARC’s proposed goal for 2019-2021 is 22 percent. Related agencies’ current DBE goals include the city of Kansas City, Missouri, at 24 percent, Kansas City Airport at 22 percent, MoDOT at 15 percent, KDOT at 10 percent and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) at 15 percent.

Learn more about the DBE program and its goal methodology

You are encouraged to comment on the DBE program and its updated goal. Please submit comments by Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018.

  • By mail: Mid-America Regional Council, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64105
  • By phone: 816-474-4240
  • By email:
Members of COMTO Kansas City enjoying the networking event at Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport.

In June, the Kansas City chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) held their second annual Triple Play Networking Event in partnership with MoDOT and Bellewether LTD. Representatives from DBEs mixed and mingled with representatives from COMTO core businesses, DOTs and other organizations at Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport. The DBE’s included several engineering and engineering consulting firms as well as a few business consulting firms with ties to corporate construction companies who work with DOTs and airports.

Five different organizations — MoDOT, KDOT, KCATA, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and MARC — shared information on upcoming projects, their funding patterns with DBEs last year and their current DBE goals. They also disclosed where firms could go to get more information on upcoming projects.

The mission of COMTO is to ensure a level playing field and maximum participation in the transportation industry for minority individuals, businesses and communities of color through advocacy, information sharing, training, education and professional development. COMTO’s vision is to see the diverse faces of America equally reflected in all levels of the transportation industry.

Read more about the COMTO event

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