Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Advancing Transportation Equity Initiative

Advancing Transportation Equity Initiative

Contracting and public engagement

The Equitable Contracting and Engagement project is an ongoing effort to explore ways to make MnDOT's contracting and engagement processes more accessible and inclusive. MnDOT wants to contract with more community-based organizations and nonprofits and advance our engagement work. This project will identify ways our contracting process can be more streamlined and less burdensome on our partners. It will also identify possible ways for us to employ more engagement specialists within the agency to help us reach key communities. This work will align MnDOT processes with community values. 

Completed and ongoing tasks for this project include the following:

  • Added the Community Building work type to MnDOT’s Pre-Qualified Consultant work types in the area of public engagement and communications
  • Initiated internal training and education on equitable contracting and engagement including contracting processes, improvements and outreach involving community-based organizations (CBOs)
  • Piloting a public engagement ambassador program at MnDOT with the creation of a permanent position responsible for developing two-way connections between MnDOT and BIPOC communities (and organizations that serve them) and serving as a resource to public engagement staff on engagement and communications projects involving BIPOC/Environmental Justice audiences.
  • Created template language to use in contracts/Scopes of Work to encourage more public engagement and communication contracts (or sub-contracts) with CBOs and educate project managers on the benefits of contracting with CBOs and where to locate the template language
  • Creating marketing material to bring community-based organizations and nonprofits into the contracting process

This project started in 2020 and will continue through 2023. We'll share more information when it is available.