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Sound Transit garners recognition for diversity leadership


Sound Transit has received the Women's Transportation Seminar's Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award for "outstanding efforts" in promoting opportunities for women and minorities in the transportation industry.

The agency's diversity practices include making training, contracting and other business opportunities available to women- and minority-owned businesses.

"Our organization has established an exemplary track record of hiring women and people of color, and continues to actively facilitate the participation of small and disadvantaged businesses in its construction projects," said Leslie Jones, the agency’s diversity director, in a prepared statement.

For example, of the $60 million in contracts invoiced as part of the $505 million University Link project, 24 percent were issued to disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs), according to the agency. Another $14 million, or 13 percent, were contracted to small businesses, resulting in a total of 37 percent of University Link contract work being done by small and DBE firms to date, Sound Transit said.

Prior to receiving bids for the University Link project, the agency conducted networking and outreach sessions for potential prime and subcontractors to meet and begin building relationships.

In addition, the agency has tried to pursue diversity in its hiring practices. Minorities comprise 22 percent of Sound Transit employees, and women comprise 46 percent. Among management, 22 percent of managers are minorities and 44 percent are women.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/24/2011