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Innovation to Change the Nation

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) would like to recognize its Great Lakes Region Small Business Transportation Resource Center (SBTRC).


Gabriela Garcia, Great Lakes Region SBTRC Project Director (Left), Roberto Escalante, Great Lakes Region SBTRC Executive Director (Center Left), Victor Mendez, USDOT Deputy Secretary of Transportation (Center), Michelle Harris, OSDBU Regional Assistance Division Manager (Center Right), Reggie Greer, USDOT Associate Director of Public Engagement (Right)

On May 23, 2016, the Great Lakes Region SBTRC hosted the USDOT’s Deputy Secretary, Victor Mendez, during a roundtable discussion in Chicago, IL. Alongside Deputy Secretary Mendez, the OSDBU’s Regional Assistance Division Manager, Michelle Harris, local small businesses, and transportation industry stakeholders attended the dynamic roundtable discussion. Specific topics of discussion were centered on USDOT practices, current infrastructure needs and innovation.

Deputy Secretary Mendez discussed the importance of innovation and thinking forward by utilizing technology to connect transportation to buildings and infrastructure. For example, the USDOT’s “Smart Cities Challenge”; this national challenge encourages cities across the country to develop strategies for integrating cleaner and smarter technology into their infrastructure. Deputy Secretary Mendez also shared information on the USDOT’s “Every Place Counts Design Challenge”. The “Every Place Counts Design Challenge” is designed to encourage and empower communities across the country to reimagine existing transportation projects through innovative and restorative infrastructure design to reconnect communities to opportunities.

The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce serves as the Great Lakes Region SBTRC. The Great Lakes Region SBTRC is one of 13 regional SBTRCs of the USDOT OSDBU. The SBTRC provides services to small businesses in the transportation industry in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. For more information on the Great Lakes SBTRC, please visit their website here.

Last updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017