Senator Miles, Black contractors raise concern of TxDOT’s minority contractor issues

Senator Borris Miles joined more than 100 African American contractors from Houston and Dallas to speak at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Transportation Commission meeting this week. They expressed frustration with the lack of minority firms selected for highway and road projects, specifically the Texas 288 Tollway Expansion.

“I have worked to increase the number of minority contractors selected for TxDOT projects since I began serving in the Legislature ten years ago,” said Senator Miles.” At last month’s meeting, I explained how I had worked closely with many executive directors and commission chairs to improve TxDOT’s performance.”

Last month, initial reports showed the Texas 288 Tollway Expansion Project’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program only received 4% of the initial work, well below the 12% goal.

“I was outraged. For ten years, I went above and beyond to help TxDOT increase their DBEs. I created TxDOT’s The Road Ahead, a series of networking forums designed to give small businesses the opportunity to meet one-on-one prime contractors. The 288 expansion runs through the heart of Senate District 13, and we have so many minority contractors who are more qualified to perform the work,” said Senator Miles.

More than 100 members from the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce joined Senator Miles at this month’s TxDOT meeting to share their stories and frustration with the commission.

“I want to thank everyone who came to speak at TxDOT Commission meeting. TxDOT knows there’s a systemic problem regarding hiring minority contractors. We are going to stay engaged, to help them solve this problem to ensure our community are receiving work for projects, especially when they are in our neighborhoods,” said Senator Miles.