US Department of Transportation honors Sound Transit for utilizing small and disadvantaged businesses

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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization today recognized Sound Transit for its exemplary work in utilizing small and disadvantaged businesses in its construction projects. The award was presented to Sound Transit Diversity Programs Director Leslie Jones at USDOT's regional Safety Summit at Seattle's Union Station.

"I am pleased to recognize and honor Sound Transit for its outstanding work in creating opportunities for small businesses in their USDOT-funded projects," said Brandon Neal, Director of USDOT's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. "As Sound Transit expands high capacity transit throughout the region, the agency consistently demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that small and disadvantaged firms play active roles in their major transportation infrastructure projects."

The agency's efforts to create opportunities for disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) are making a difference. Of the contracts invoiced for the University Link project, for instance, $30 million, or 28 percent, were performed by DBE firms. Another $14 million-13 percent-were performed by small businesses, for a total of 41 percent of University Link contract work done by small and DBE firms.

As part of the pre-bid conferences for University Link, Sound Transit also conducted networking and outreach sessions to enable potential prime and subcontractors to meet and begin building relationships that will lead to collaborative work with Sound Transit. The agency has also hosted subcontractor and supplier forums in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

"On behalf of Sound Transit's dedicated Board of Directors and staff, I would like to thank Mr. Neal and everyone at the USDOT for their support in recognizing our agency's efforts to bring contracting opportunities to small and disadvantaged businesses," said Aaron Reardon, Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive. "Our accomplishments with U-Link lay important groundwork for expanding these opportunities throughout the region as we work to bring high capacity transit to the east, south and north."