Port of Portland Disparity Study and Action Plan

What is a disparity study? A disparity study examines the variance or disparity between minority and women-owned businesses that are available to participate in an organization's business opportunities, and the actual numbers or utilization of minority and women businesses that receive contracts or otherwise participate in that organization's business.

Why did the Port commission the disparity study? A 2005 ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and a subsequent guidance issued from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration instructed recipients of transportation federal funding that the recipient should not set Disadvantaged Business Enterprise goals on federally funding projects without first conducting a disparity study to determine if evidence of disparity existed to support race and gender conscious projects goals. The Port ceased setting DBE (A DBE is a small business that is certified as being socially and/or economically disadvantaged. Most DBE’s are minority and/or women owned businesses.) project goals in 2006 and saw a significant decrease in DBE participation on our federally funded projects. The Port commissioned the study with MGT of America in November 2007 and the study was completed in 2009.  

What will the Port do next? The action plan being posted on the Port Web site will be implemented at the Port beginning July 1, 2009.

Related Links:
Disparity Study Executive Summary
Findings and Recommendations
Action Plan

Bobbi Matthews, Small Business Development Program Manager, 503.415.6590

Port of Portland   • PO Box 3529 • Portland, OR 97208 • 503.415.6000
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