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New rule opens the door to opportunity for disadvantaged business enterprises

It takes organizations like COMTO, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, to ensure that minority transportation workers aren’t unfairly denied higher-paying jobs or promotions, and that minority-owned, small, and disadvantaged businesses (DBEs) get a fair shot at contracting opportunities.

At DOT, we support that effort, too –not just making sure we rebuild America’s infrastructure, but making sure that all Americans can participate in building it. And last week, we raised the stakes with a new rule designed to improve our DBE program regulations...

Photo of construction work on the I-70 Stan Musial Bridge

DOT supports veterans with Boots-to-Business events

For many, the days after Labor Day mean a return to pre-summer levels of activity. But here in DOT's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), we never slowed down, working hard throughout the summer on several veteran-oriented Boots to Business: Reboot events in conjunction with the Small Business Administration.

We think America's veterans are natural entrepreneurs who can make a real impact on transportation. They are disciplined, goal-oriented self-starters who are accustomed to accountability. They also know the value of being decisive but flexible. With unemployment among our veterans outpacing the national average, training in entrepreneurship just makes sense.

Leveraging the talents of some of our 22.5 million veterans will promote self-employment, strengthen our transportation industry, and help stimulate our economy.

Photo of servicemen and women with American flag

Building ladders of opportunity for America's businesses

As readers might recall, I'm sort of the product of a transportation business. My great-grandfather, Pete Kelly, was a trucker who put 13 kids through college--including my grandmother. So, I am where I am today because, for Pete Kelly, that truck was a key rung on the ladder of opportunity.

Now, Pete Kelly may have lived more than half a century ago, but the same route that he took toward the American Dream is still wide open to our nation's entrepreneurs. Transportation can still be a way up, into the middle class and beyond.

Especially when you’re helping build that transportation. At the Department of Transportation, we work to make sure everyone has access to this kind of opportunity.

Photo of road work

Stan the Man gets another hit; DBEs get opportunities; St. Louis gets its bridge

On Saturday, I helped cut the ribbon on a new bridge in St. Louis that spans the Mississippi River. It’s called the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge--named in honor of our nation's heroes and after one of the Midwest’s greatest sports legends--and with good reason.

Photo of the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge across the Mississippi River between Illinois and Missouri

Early in his career, Stan Musial was a pitcher who’d injured his throwing arm. And, as legend has it, the St. Louis Cardinals were going to release him until the team’s legendary GM, Branch Rickey heard about it.

“Don’t let him go,” Rickey said, “Put him in the outfield, and let’s see if he can hit.”

Twenty-two seasons and more than 3,600 hits later, Branch Rickey had his answer. Stan “The Man” Musial could hit.

In no small measure, what Rickey did for Stan Musial gets at the heart of what this new bridge will do for the people, and the companies, of the St. Louis area: It gives them a chance to succeed...

DOT hosts Small Business Day

As the former mayor of one our nation’s fastest-growing cities, I know from firsthand experience that small businesses are the heart of our local economies. Small businesses create new jobs and they invest the money they make back into the communities they serve. 

At the same time, we know that transportation is one of our greatest avenues for growth and competitiveness. 

And when we can bring the two together--small businesses and transportation projects--that's a powerful one-two combination for jobs and economic vitality.

Photo of small and disadvantaged business owners meeting with D.O.T. procurement officials
Harnassing the power of two engines for growth--small businesses and transportation.