Minority business enterprises gain in airport program...


June 12, 2000

Minority business enterprises gain in airport program

Minority and disadvantaged businesses continue to gain experience at Baltimore-Washington International Airport through the State's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program.

More than 70 MBE companies hold contracts with Maryland's two state-owned and operated airports, BWI and Martin State.

Introduced in 1978, Maryland's MBE program helps companies owned by women and minorities to secure contacts with state agencies. About 42 percent of the Maryland Aviation Administration's (MAA) state-funded contracts were awarded to minority and disadvantaged businesses in fiscal 1999, significantly higher than the agency's goal of 21 percent. The businesses received contracts worth more than $46 million. Another $30 million in concessions contracts were performed by companies owned by women and minorities.

MBE companies provided such services as waste management, construction hauling and paving, restaurants and retail management, janitorial work, taxicab operations, parking management and gas station operations. For more information about the MBE program, call the MAA's Office of Fair Practices at 410-859-7229.

Railroad cleanup project to begin last week of June

A statewide effort to eliminate graffiti, trash and other illegally dumped materials along the Northeast corridor is on schedule to pass through the BWI Rail Station and Anne Arundel County in the coming months.

The Great Railroad Cleanup will begin in Baltimore along the Penn Line, at the intersection of Frederick and Caton avenues at 11:30 a.m. June 24.

Maryland is the first state to partner with Amtrak in this effort. Amtrak officials said parts of the Penn Line are included in the 13 targeted "hot spots" along the Northeast corridor that are in need of cleaning. New graffiti is removed within 48 hours, and newly dumped debris is removed within seven days in designated zones.

Local areas include rail sections near the Odenton, Halethorpe and West Baltimore stations. Amtrak is enlisting volunteers to help in the cleanup efforts. Anyone can report an incident of vandalism, graffiti or trash dumping by calling Amtrak's toll-free hot line at 877-794-5485. An award of up to $500 will be given to callers providing information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of individuals vandalizing Amtrak property.

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