Our commitment to equality in business
Business That Includes and Serves Everyone
In an effort to foster a diverse and inclusive marketplace for all businesses, COTA adheres to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) regulations, 49 CFR Part 26. As such, it is COTA’s policy to engage with and utilize ready, willing and able disadvantaged and small businesses.
Our policy includes using our best efforts possible to level the playing field in the market place by ensuring these firms have the opportunity to participate in the procurement process. COTA has established race-conscious and race-neutral initiatives in the DBE annual and contract specific goals to provide opportunities in all procurement activities.
DBE* firms must be certified by the Ohio Department of Transportation Unified Certification Program (UCP), the City of Columbus Equal Business Opportunity Commission Office, or the Ohio Department of Administrative Services at the time of bid submission. COTA reserves the right to accept or reject a firm’s certification from other agencies on a case-by-case basis. In making this determination, COTA will evaluate whether the certification was conducted under the standards of the certifying agency.
*COTA uses the term DBE to encompass all companies that are EDGE, MBE, WBE, and DBE certified by the recognized agencies listed above. The following are the links to COTA’s recognized certifying agencies:
- City of Columbus Diversity and Inclusion Supplier Diversity Office
- Ohio Department of Administrative Services
- Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Unified Certification Program (UCP)
- Women’s Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley (WBEC ORV)
- City of Columbus ODI Minority and Female Business Enterprise Certification
- Ohio Department of Administrative Services MBE/EDGE Certification
Each of these agencies perform their own certifications, re-certifications, compliance on-site visits, and maintain a centralized database on their perspective websites of all certified companies which can be publicly accessed with limited basic information.
Sharing the ODOT DBE Uniform Certification Process (UCP)
DBE satisfies Section 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations for transportation authorities (49 CFR). In accordance with 49 CFR Section 26, COTA transitioned to the Unified Certification Program (UCP) for all federally funded projects, which synchronizes all DBE certifications with the Department of Transportation (DOT) for each state per the federal mandate.
For more information about your individual DBE certification, visit ODOT online for details and forms. Or, contact ODOT directly at:
Ohio Unified Certification Program
c/o Office of Business & Economic Opportunity Ohio Department of Transportation
1980 West Broad Street, MS 3270
Columbus, Ohio 43223
Would You Like to Learn More About the DBE Program?
For more information about COTA’s DBE program and opportunities, please contact the DBE Program office at firstname.lastname@example.org.