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Media Relations Contact:
Morgan Lyons

October 7, 2002

DART receives "Helping Hands Award"

DART honored for work with minority business enterprises

DART received the "Helping Hands Award" during Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week observances. The Minority Business Development Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration, in partnership with Minority Business News, created the "Helping Hands Award" to recognize agencies that purchased $1 million or more from minority and women-owned businesses.

The award recognizes 14 DART contract specialists who each purchased between $1 million to $19 million in goods and services from minority and women-owned business enterprises in fiscal year 2001. "Strides have been made over the years in doing business with minority businesses," said John F. Iglehart, Dallas Regional Director of the Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce. "We need to continue the growth in minority companies getting their share. DART is a leader in that field."

"DART is committed to expanding economic opportunities to the minority community," said Ken Mercer, Vice President of Procurement at DART. His department has been working closely with DART's Diversity and Economic Opportunity department to advance the agency's goals of broader diversity in contracting services, materials and construction.

"DART will continue to reach out to the minority communities to assure that minority businesses have an opportunity for obtaining procurement and contracting opportunities," added Gloria Dixon, DART Vice President for Diversity and Economic Opportunity.

DART was one of 28 local and national agencies recognized for their role in minority business development. "The companies recognized today have taken a road less traveled. This is a visible form of their commitment," said Don McKneely, publisher of Minority Business News.

Since 1983, each U.S. President has proclaimed a National MED Week to recognize outstanding achievements of minority business enterprises and to honor corporations and financial institutions that support minority business development.

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