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The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is studying whether minority- and women-owned businesses have equal access to contracting opportunities within the state's transportation contracting industry and with ODOT contracts.Keen Independent Research will manage the study, which will include public meetings, interviews, data analysis and other means to gather input. The study findings will help the department operate the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. ODOT’s last disparity study was conducted in 2011."It's important that we listen for all voices and learn as much as possible about the needs and concerns of Oregon’s minority- and women-owned businesses," said ODOT Director Matthew Garrett in a press release. "This is an opportunity to work with our business community to create a level playing field when contracting with ODOT."ODOT plans to hold four public meetings Feb. 23-26, as well as accept comments online. Input collected at the meetings and throughout the study process will help shape research to be conducted later this spring, including surveys and stakeholder interviews, ODOT officials said.
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