“Doing Business With DOT”: First-Time-Ever Event Expands Opportunities and Access in New Procurement Season

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Event at DOT Headquarters advances DOT’s ambitious goals to create a level playing-field by attracting businesses of all sizes, including opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

NEW YORK—NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, joined by Mayor’s Office of Contract Services Director/Chief City Procurement Officer Lisa M. Flores, Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim and NYC Department of Design & Construction officials, today hosted the first event of its kind wherein the agency welcomed hundreds of attendees to DOT’s offices in Lower Manhattan to showcase the agency’s contracting offerings.  By promoting equitable contracting and procurement opportunities for all businesses that could potentially work with DOT, the agency aims to dramatically expand the diversity amongst companies with which it does business.  The City’s Local Law 1 of 2013 established specific M/WBE participation goals — and NYCDOT is committed to remaining an agency model in the promotion of equitable contracting and procurement.

“Leveling the playing field for businesses — especially small businesses and minority and women-owned businesses — that want to work with the city is a top priority of our administration and is another step we’re taking to ensure that those who are delivering services for New Yorkers actually look like the people who make up this diverse city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “DOT’s creative showcase event today is a great example of how all our city agencies can better open their doors to M/WBEs across the five boroughs. Bringing in minority and women-owned businesses, small businesses, and contractors— all who together represent the full talent and diversity of our great city — to meet directly with the staff who oversee contracts and procurement is part of our ambitious effort to broaden economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.”

“To meet Mayor Adams’ goal of a more equitable city, our City government needs to do a better job of finding vendors that reflect that incredible talent and diversity of our entire city,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Rodriguez.  “So we are proud as an agency for the first time to turn the tables on a traditional fair today: instead, each division at DOT will today staff a table that allows a wide array of businesses to directly find out more about the great opportunities that could await them at DOT.  And for those companies interested in becoming one of New York City’s certified Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises, this event will serve as a chance to get certified.”

“New York City’s procurement system has been opaque for far too long,” said Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services/Chief City Procurement Officer Lisa M. Flores. “We cannot create a more efficient and equitable procurement system without truly understanding the diverse needs and struggles of our City’s businesses, which especially true for our M/WBE community. Today’s event provides a unique opportunity to meet our prospective vendors where they are, bridge the knowledge gap, and make it easier to do business with the City. I commend the Department of Transportation for making this event possible and taking an important step towards to increasing access.”

“With a nearly billion-dollar contracts budget, the New York City Department of Transportation plays a major role in engaging M/WBE vendors to meet the City’s infrastructure needs,” said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Outreach events like this demonstrate the City’s commitment to building new business relationships with M/WBEs who can contribute to the safety and vibrancy of our streets, bridges, and sidewalks while growing their businesses at the same time. SBS is proud to partner with DOT to engage more M/WBEs to have a hand in building our economic recovery.”

“DDC is the City’s leading capital construction agency and also accounts for a large percentage of the City’s M/WBE contract awards,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction First Deputy Commissioner Eric Macfarlane. “In anticipation of a large increase in portfolio value, we have improved the way we do business and made it easier for contractors and consultants to work with us. We’re seeking the best firms that want to make a difference, building out world-class infrastructure programs such as coastal resiliency projects and creating the best public buildings.”

The Doing Business With DOT event and outreach allows DOT to engage with the vendor community, especially smaller sized businesses and provides the forum for vendors to learn about project pipelines, discuss contracting opportunities with agency officials and for minority and women-owned businesses to meet and develop relationships with prime contractors.   DOT worked along with the General Contractors Association, the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York and multiple councils and chambers of commerce representing M/WBEs and small business to invite vendors and help build participation.

For its part, DOT will manage an estimated $980 million in contracts during the fiscal year that began this month. DOT awarded over $600 million in contracts to M/WBE from Fiscals Years ‘16-22. This fiscal year (FY ’23) alone DOT has a robust procurement plan with over $500M+ in contract opportunities where we are looking to reach an MWBE utilization of 30%. This would be the single largest year ever in the agency’s history and DOT seeks to only further grow that number in future years.  Today’s Doing Business With DOT is only one step in the process of creating a level playing field by expanding equity and opportunities for businesses.

The following DOT divisions as well as visiting government agencies were represented at individual tables during today’s event:

  • DOT Bridges
  • DOT ITT- Information, Technology, Telecom
  • DOT RRM- Roadway Repair and Maintenance
  • DOT SIF- Staten Island Ferry
  • DOT Traffic Operations- oversees street lighting, parking, signals
  • DOT Traffic Planning and Management – oversees safety projects, signage, freight
  • DOT HR/Facilities- Human Resources and Facilities
  • DOT SIM- Sidewalks and Inspection Management
  • DOT Fleet- Fleet Services
  • DOT ACCO- Agency Chief Contracting Office
  • NYC Department of Small Business Services
  • Mayor’s Office of Contract Services


Attendees shared their experiences:

Sass M. Peress, CEO and Shoshana Zimmerman, Urban Planning Senior Advisor – Lanez (Click here to watch video)

George Onuprah, Director of Business Development Essential Communications (Click here to watch video)

Jose Vega, VP Operations Inclusion – The Movement (Click here to watch video)
Thiyagarajan Bushanam, Owner – BDS Organics (Click here to watch video)

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