Friday, May 24, 2024

DOTD Secretary joins leaders to sign Equity in Infrastructure Pledge

by BIZ Magazine

DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D., attended an event Tuesday hosted by the Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP), along with other State Departments of Transportation leaders from California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kansas and Michigan to sign the EIP Pledge, which is aimed at leveraging infrastructure spending to build wealth in underserved communities. The event also included remarks by Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman of the Small Business Administration.

Through its pledge, EIP works to secure commitments from public agencies to improve public contracting practices by creating more opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) to build generational wealth and reduce the racial wealth gap by creating more prime, joint venture and equity contracting opportunities for these firms. Together with EIP and other Pledge signers, agencies work to increase the number, size and scope of contracts going to HUBs by facilitating access and reducing barriers to compete for business.

“Creating pathways to equity and ensuring a balanced infrastructure agenda is advanced, especially in underserved communities, was a commitment I made when I became AASHTO President, and one that DOTD and AASHTO have been striving towards with much success,” said Wilson. “Pledges such as the EIP are critical to this work and I am glad to see so many other states support this effort, holding themselves and their agencies publicly accountable for such important work.”

EIP was founded by Denver International Airport CEO Phillip A. Washington, former US Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari and others 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 and SOMAT.

Learn more about the EIP Pledge at EquityInInfrastructure.org.

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