Working toward the goal of increasing diversity and inclusion at all levels of the transportation industry, leaders in Washington state’s transportation industry are calling for regionwide participation in the new local chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).

“A strong transit workforce is one that draws on the diversity of its members and the communities we serve,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff, a longtime supporter of COMTO’s efforts nationally and a founding member of the new local chapter. “In order to remain competitive, we need the talent of people from all backgrounds and experiences to keep up with the demands of rapid growth in this area. I believe establishment of a COMTO chapter right here in Washington helps to give more people a seat at the table. It is simply the right thing to do — for Sound Transit and for the region.”

“King County Metro is pleased to be a founding sponsor of the Washington state chapter of the Conference of Minority of Transportation Officials,” said Metro’s GM Rob Gannon, also a founding member of the new chapter. “Metro is firmly committed to COMTO’s values of diversity and inclusion, which are vital to our core mission of connecting communities. Through this partnership, we can expand the important work we’re doing regionally and be a stronger voice in shaping transportation policy at the state and national level.”

“The Puget Sound region has grown exponentially over the past 30 years,” said Everette Adams, founding member, chapter president/CEO of Systems Consulting. “COMTO Washington State will help achieve the goal of having the people who plan, build and operate our transportation systems reflect those who live here.”

Local charter agency members and supporters of COMTO Washington State include Pierce Transit, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation, Community Transit, and the Port of Seattle. Private firm charter members also include Triunity Engineering and Management and WSP USA; sponsors of a member kickoff gathering the evening of Nov. 14 include HNTB, AECOM and CH2M.

Created in 1971 on the campus of Howard University for senior minority professionals in the transportation industry, today COMTO is a multi-ethnic, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) association advancing the professional, educational, and business development of transportation professionals at every level of the industry in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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