September 28, 2022
Transportation Leaders Gather On Capitol Hill To Bring Attention To Transportation And Infrastructure Issues Affecting Minority Communities As Federal Funding Gets A Boost
COMTO’s “A View from the Hill” will focus on Workforce Development, Disadvantaged, Minority and Women-owned Businesses and Accessibility as key transportation priorities for underserved communities
For Immediate Release
September 28, 2022
Alexandria, VA - The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), a nonprofit organization founded in 1971 dedicated to advancing minorities in the transportation industry with 37 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, will convene on Capitol Hill for its annual “A View from the Hill” event -- a day of advocacy activities focused on bringing to light transportation and infrastructure issues affecting minority communities.
Known as the “Voice of Equity” for transportation, COMTO brings its more than 50 years of advocacy experience to Capitol Hill once again to focus on workforce development, Disadvantaged/Minority/Women-owned Businesses (D/M/WBEs) and accessibility in the industry as billions of dollars flow into building and revamping the U.S. infrastructure.
“The return of COMTO’s annual day of advocacy, A View from the Hill, to Capitol Hill comes at a time when the voices of minority communities are critical to ensuring that the once in a generation funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to revitalize the nation’s roads, bridges, highways, railways, ports and transit, among others, reach areas of need,” said Tanya Adams, Chair, COMTO Board of Directors and Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, WSP USA. “These communities cannot afford to be neglected as the revitalization taking place will affect their access to jobs, contracting opportunities and accessible transportation for generations to come.”
The day’s activities will include a Legislative Panel from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (First St NE, Washington, DC 20515) featuring elected officials, congressional staff and transportation leaders discussing how lawmakers are ensuring minority communities are included in transportation and infrastructure initiatives taking place throughout the nation.
Following the Legislative Panel, 65 COMTO members from 14 of its 37 chapters will visit congressional representatives from their home states and districts and share information about the organization’s mission, vision and activities and its Legislative Priorities for 2022.
“COMTO’s legislative priorities were formed by our members who represent top transportation industry leaders from all modalities who have listened to the voices of their communities and identified core initiatives which need to be implemented in order to see an equitable system that benefits all who seek to improve their quality of life through career and contracting opportunities and access to safe and reliable transportation,” said Renee Banks, Board Advisor and Chair, COMTO Legislative Advisory Council and President & Chief Communications Officer for G. W. Peoples Contracting Co., Inc.
Some of COMTO’s 2022 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities include:
- Address the needs of chronically unemployed including minority/female/disabled individuals displaced by new technologies or COVID
- Focus on historically underserved communities
- Establish a Workforce Development Advisory Board at the United States Department of Transportation
Disadvantaged/Minority/Women-owned Businesses (D/M/WBEs)
- Establish a DBE set-aside program based on the 8(a)-program model and identify set-aside for DBE prime competition
- Require “net 30 payment”, meaning D/M/WBEs must be paid within 30 days of the invoice date
- Insurance indemnification or creative solutions to meeting bonding requirements for D/M/WBEs
- Establish a national DBE-certified database at the federal level at USDOT
- Provide support and feedback for the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative which aims to deliver 40 percent of the overall benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy, including sustainable transportation, to underserved, disadvantaged communities
- Highlight urgent need for accessibility and equality for the disabled, including special-needs safety protocol
- Educate employers on the benefits of hiring persons with disabilities including neurodiverse candidates
The complete list of COMTO’s 2022 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities can be found here.
About the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)
Founded in 1971, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring full access for minorities in transportation while preparing and positioning leaders for rapidly evolving global opportunities. With 37 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, COMTO is driven by a mission to increase opportunities and participation in the transportation industry for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and certified MWDBE businesses through leadership training, professional development, scholarship and internship funding, political advocacy, partnership building and networking opportunities. For more information, visit https://comtonational.org/.
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