Forum aimed at broadening awareness of opportunities for diverse businesses and local governments
I am pleased to announce that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) hosted an unprecedented “Commitment to Communities” Forum and Expo on June 27, 2019 at The College of New Jersey. Over 350 businesses and local government representatives gathered to learn how to effectively collaborate with NJDOT and take advantage of the many opportunities we offer.
This forum continued the efforts of the “Commitment to Communities” initiative I announced last year by focusing on our five key values that guide the Department’s mission: inform, innovate, collaborate, empower, and evolve. NJDOT is dedicated to helping our stakeholders succeed and take advantage of opportunities to work with the Department. NJDOT is open for business!
NJDOT senior leadership led attendees through the offerings of the Department’s five main divisions, discussing relevant topics such as procurement, local aid, contract compliance, transportation mobility, and construction services and materials. Participants were introduced to key staff from each division who shared insights into their inner workings and offered the opportunity to engage in a dynamic Q&A. Afterwards, attendees were encouraged to stay behind and have more personal one-on-one conversations with NJDOT staff at their information booths.
NJDOT has already made great strides in our efforts to greater serve our communities and will continue to support our stakeholders and help expand economic opportunities throughout the state.
We are proactive in our mandate for outreach and facilitation of opportunities on behalf of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Emerging Small Business Enterprises (ESBE), and Small Business Enterprises (SBE)— spearheaded by our Civil Rights/ Affirmative Action unit. It is NJDOT’s responsibility to promote and support minority and women vendors who want to participate in the Department’s delivery of our capital program. Subcontractors were encouraged to use BidX and Bid Express, NJDOT’s online contracting platforms, to research and identify opportunities for DBE/ESBE/SBE participation.
Here are some highlights from the forum that show our positive trajectory:
- Division of Procurement’s goal is to increase competition in order to lower prices while adopting best practices and ensuring a level playing field for all bidders.
- Capital Investment & Program Coordination (CPIC) offered a $3.7 billion Draft 2020 State Transportation Capital Program budget allocating $625 million for Local System Support, its biggest line item.
- Local Aid & Economic Development has $500 million in grant opportunities available to local communities. 648 grants were awarded in 2019, and a new online Resource Center was created to provide detailed information on grant status, recipients and training opportunities.
- Local Bicycle and Pedestrian Program offers no- cost assistance to communities to improve safety conditions, and create sustainable transit-oriented redevelopment.
- Capital Program Management (CPM) has opportunities for qualified vendors. In FY 2019, 126 design consultant awards and 60construction awards were made, worth $200 million and $580 million respectively.
- Multimodal Services division solicits specialized planning and engineering services such as Design of Boating Infrastructure and Ferry Terminals.
We are all working towards the same goal, which is to provide an excellent transportation system to the state of New Jersey, which can not be achieved without you—our stakeholders, including our prime contractors, engineering consultants, and especially all the disadvantaged, minority, women, and small-owned businesses.
Collectively, we reinforced the message that NJDOT is dedicated to communities and open for business. By providing local communities quick and efficient access to local government, paving an accessible path to project funding, and by promoting diversity and equitable participation internally and externally, we can improve the quality of life for residents and spur economic growth for the state.
For those of you that were able to join us for this event, we thank you for taking part in what was the first of many. For those unable to attend, we encourage you to follow our upcoming calendar of events:
If you want to see what you missed, here’s a quick three minute video highlighting a few of the event’s top moments. https://youtu.be/eEnJItttmx8
I look forward to seeing you at our next event.
If you have any questions about any of the information in this newsletter, please feel free to contact NJDOT’s office of Constituent Relations at 609-963-1982. For NJDOT news, please follow us on Twitter @NJDOT_Info or on the NJDOT Facebook page.