Equity in infrastructure: Taking the pledge
This week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast focuses on the Equity in Infrastructure Project (EIP).
On Oct. 11, chief executive officers from six state departments of transportation signed a pledge, saying they are committed to streamline processes for obtaining necessary disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) certifications, improve payment time and expand access to financing to help underserved businesses.
Michigan Department of Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba was among the leaders signing the pledge. He talks about the importance of the event and what it means to him.
Saying it was high honor to be included in the event, Ajegba talks about both the symbolic and tangible benefits of signing the pledge. He says this demonstrates a commitment to make sure federal dollars are distributed in an equitable way to shore up DBE and other programs.
Ajegba also explains that it involves a bigger-picture view and looking at barriers holding back DBEs.
In the second segment, Phil Washington, CEO of the Denver International Airport and President Biden’s nominee to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), discusses his role in co-founding EIP.
"You can see the urgency behind our cause in how quickly this coalition is expanding with the participation of some of the largest public contracting entities in the nation," Washington said in the news release about the event. "As we improve America's transit systems, airports and other infrastructure, we must be focused on improving people's lives, too."
Washington also discusses the support and shared commitment of the White House.