Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) commissioned BBC Research & Consulting (BBC) to conduct a disparity study to assess whether minority- and woman-owned businesses face barriers as part of MDT’s contracting processes. Information from the study will help MDT and federally-funded airports in Montana evaluate and refine their efforts to encourage the participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in their contracts. The study will help MDT and Montana airports implement the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

Study analyses

The disparity study will focus on construction and professional services contracts and procurements that MDT and federally-funded airports in Montana awarded between October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2020.

Study schedule

BBC initiated the disparity study in April 2021 and will complete the study at the end of May 2022.

Key contacts

If you have any questions or comments regarding the disparity study, please contact:

Megan Handl
Civil Rights Operations Supervisor
Montana Department of Transportation (MDT)
406-444-6324 | Email

Alternatively, you can contact a member of the project team directly:

Kevin Williams
Managing Director
BBC Research & Consulting
303-321-2547 | Email

Wittney Skigen
Research Associate
BBC Research & Consulting
303-321-2547 | Email

Study progress

MDT will provide regular updates about BBC’s progress on the disparity study throughout its course. Please check back periodically for those updates.

Project initiation. In April 2021, MDT and BBC conducted a series of meetings with various MDT and airport representatives to introduce the study, answer questions, and begin the process of understanding contracting and vendor data.

Data collection. BBC has begun working with MDT staff to collect data on contracts that MDT and Montana airports awarded during the study period as well as information about the vendors that participated in those contracts.

Next steps. BBC will engage in the following disparity study tasks in the coming months:

  • Community meetings. The project team will conduct three virtual community meetings. During the community meetings, BBC will present information about the disparity study, answer any questions, and collect any verbal or written testimony participants would like to share regarding their experiences working in the local marketplace. Please participate and make sure your insights are included as part of the study process! See the Events tab for more information on these meetings.
  • Data collection. The project team will continue to work with MDT to collect data on contracts they awarded during the study period and the vendors that participated in those contracts. In addition, the project team will coordinate with airport consultants to collect data on their relevant contracts.
  • Data analysis. The project team will analyze data that it collects from MDT and Montana airports. BBC will begin by assessing the subindustries that account for the majority of state contracting; the geographical area that is most relevant; and the percentage of total contract dollars that minority- and woman-owned businesses received on prime contracts and subcontracts during the study period.
  • Availability surveys. The project team will begin conducting availability surveys on October 24, 2021, with businesses in the geographic market area that perform work relevant to contracts awarded or anticipated to be awarded. If we contact your business, please participate in the survey process to help ensure an accurate and comprehensive survey process!
  • In-depth interviews. The study team will begin conducting in-depth interviews with business owners and trade association representatives throughout the local marketplace. The interviews will provide the study team with detailed information about marketplace conditions related to starting a business, trying to grow a business, working with local public agencies, and a variety of other topics. If you are interested in participating in an in-depth interview, please email Wittney Skigen at MDTDisparityStudyXYZbbcresearchABCcom.