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Maryland DOT Opens Doors for Small, Minority, Women, Veteran and Disadvantaged Businesses

BALTIMORE, MD — The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently launched Opportunity MDOT, an initiative that connects small, disadvantaged and minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to economic inclusion programs as part of the I-495 and I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Program. Opportunity MDOT will provide access to training and advisory services and networking opportunities for minority and disadvantaged businesses.

“The focus of Opportunity MDOT is not to just bolster business for minority and disadvantaged companies, but to create careers for and economically empower Marylanders,” said MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn, who addressed attendees at the Opportunity MDOT kickoff event.

Rahn noted that Opportunity MDOT is designed to help strengthen and grow Maryland businesses, the workforce and the economy by conducting outreach to a diverse field. The kick-off event attracted 220 attendees representing 134 disadvantaged and minority- and women-owned businesses. MDOT is planning another round of information and outreach later this year.

In addition to an advisory council comprised of representatives from local economic development agencies and business leadership groups, Opportunity MDOT features an online virtual hub for businesses and job seekers called the Center of Excellence. The hub provides tools and updates on training, self-assessments, information sessions and new opportunities.

“This event begins our journey with a focus on small businesses seeking contracts,” said Joe Lewis, Program Adviser for Opportunity MDOT, “but stay tuned as we gear up similar support for individuals who are seeking jobs across the program. We’re just getting started."

In addition to its application for the I-495 and I-270 P3 program, Opportunity MDOT will ultimately become a tool for business and workforce training for MDOT projects across the state.
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