Tag Archives: MDOT

We’re Not Charlie’s Angels

By Lisa Killingsworth
                        Female Construction Worker Hispanic Woman  Construction WorkerWorker
While searching for pictures of women in construction to be used in a future brochure, I began noticing that the majority of the images I found on two professional stock photo sites, showed women modeling construction, rather than women working in construction.  While these images are obviously the vision of the photographer, they revisit old stereotypes of women in construction.


These pictures depict them working in heels, wearing tight clothing and donning yellow hats and bright smiles.  In contrast, images of men in construction show them actually doing work. For example, the men are demonstrated operating machinery, giving orders and supporting other construction workers.

Yes, photographers have captured images of women in construction that are enjoyable, fabulous, and even sexy, but the real reasons why women choose to work in construction are very different.  Women join the skilled trades to make money, to feel proud of what they have accomplished, and to pursue their career interests.  Women in construction know that working in heels is not feasible. They prefer loose clothing because it’s comfortable. Photographers would do us all a service if they recognized this, and helped to distance women from the “calendar girls” that were so prevalent in the past.

The messaging should be the same for both genders. Let’s make sure that we cater to the fact that both men and women have the same goals in mind when it comes to enhancing their futures and furthering their careers.

The Partnership for Diversity and Opportunity in Transportation consists of unions, businesses, and non-profit representatives, working collaboratively to enhance economic development within neighborhoods—which are directly impacted by major public works, and transportation construction projects—by creating community benefits, business growth, job training and other opportunities.

MiRoad2Work.org is one of our programs, designed as a “one-stop shop” for information about apprenticeships and apprenticeship readiness services.

34th Annual DBE and Small Business Conference: Focusing On Readiness & Opportunity

By Lisa Killingsworth & Renee Prewitt 

The Michigan Department of Transportation’s 34th Annual DBE and Small Business Conference was in full-swing from March 31 – April 1, 2014, at the Marriott Hotel, in Pontiac, Michigan.  Day One opened with remarks from MDOT’s leadership, focusing on the warming business climate in the State, and how to effectively do business with MDOT.


The Region Engineer Panel, moderated by Gregory C.
Johnson, MDOT COO, offered participants an overview
of “The Role of the Region Engineer and Why It’s Important.”


Kim Avery, MDOT Metro Region, said she wants to make
sure DBE’s have access to the people and services they need.

The morning workshops included:

  • MDOT E-Construction Initiatives: What You Need to Know to Compete for Future MDOT Contracts
  • Understanding MDOT Expectations for Consultant Proposals
  • How to Pepare and Submit a Successful Consultant Proposal.

Day Two of the conference featured a keynote address by Sundra Ryce, president and CEO of SLR Contracting & Service Company, Inc. who advised fellow DBEs not to worry about being taken advantage of, but to evaluate the long range potential of projects. She did and ended up being part of a billion dollar development in Buffalo, NY.

Breakout sessions included:

  • Innovative Contracting at MDOT
  • How to Submit a Competitive Construction Bid to MDOT
  • Who Does What on a Construction Project?


Russell Jorgenson of the Federal Highway Administration of Michigan, said, “We want to reach 9% DBE contract participation this year.”

The Conference Vendor Fair offered small businesses opportunities to discuss their products and services and how to work with other small firms  to achieve long term business objectives. An informal networking reception followed the Vendor Fair.

The conference ended with a Transit Summit that encouraged participants to imagine the future of the transportation industry, how working collaboratively can achieve these goals, and project requirements around the State.