MnDOT FY 2022-2024 FHWA DBE Goals
Principal Investigator(s):Samuel Myers, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
The Department of Transportation's (DOT) disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program is an affirmative action program designed to combat discrimination and its continuing effects by providing contracting opportunities on federally funded highway, transit, and airport projects for small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is a recipient of federal transportation dollars awarded through the US Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration. As such, MnDOT was required to establish a three-year goal and submit it to the FHWA for review. The Roy Wilkins Center (RWC) wanted to conduct a high-quality and legally defensible approach to produce the DBE goals by race/ethnicity and gender.
In light of the evolving and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, reports from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and Federal Reserve Banks found Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs) were disproportionately negatively impacted by the state-mandated lockdown policies, social distancing restrictions, and demand shifts. Therefore, RWC designed and conducted a survey and collected data to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on the availability of DBEs in Minnesota. The survey results reflected and helped to identify some potentially adverse effects faced by DBEs.