BBC conducted a disparity study for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to assess the degree to which minority- and woman-owned businesses participate in Caltrans’ transportation-related construction and professional services contracts relative to their availability for that work.
We also assessed marketplace conditions throughout California for minorities, women, and minority- and woman-owned businesses in key business areas including human capital, financial capital, business ownership, and business success. The 2016 disparity study was the fourth disparity study that BBC has conducted for Caltrans in the past 10 years.
Disparity Analysis: BBC observed substantial disparities between the participation and availability of minority- and woman-owned businesses as well as various barriers in human capital, financial capital, business ownership, and business success throughout the California marketplace.
Goal-Setting: Caltrans used information from the disparity study — particularly from the availability analysis and BBC’s analyses of marketplace conditions — to set its overall goal for DBE participation, per United States Department of Transportation requirements.
Program Refinement: Caltrans considered information related to race- and gender-neutral and race- and gender-conscious measures that it could use to better encourage the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in the future including the continued use of DBE contract goals.
The chart below presents disparity analysis results for state-funded Caltrans contracts, to which the agency did not apply race- or gender- conscious measures (such as DBE contract goals). As shown in the chart, several groups showed substantial disparities between their participation and availability on Caltrans’ state-funded contracts (for example, Black American-owned businesses and Hispanic American-owned businesses).