2022–2025 COMTO Strategic Plan

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2021–2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Tanya Adams Sharmyn Elliott Freddie C. Fuller II Gwendolen Gray Michelle Hiett Regine C. Beauboeuf Ruben Landa Melissa Rolle-Scott

Quincy Howard Christopher Macklin Lidy Chan Dr. Lester Woods Yvette Janniere-Houlder Renee Banks — Advisor Christian T. Kent — Advisor


STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE Adelee LeGrand — Advisor Brittni Russaw & Demauris Terry — Co-Chairs Regine Beauboeuf Jeffrey Bennett Jerome Brown Keisha Davis Jonathan Feldman Nikki Frenney Freddie Fuller Bruce Guyton Quincy Howard Ruben Landa Brenda Perryman Linneth Riley-Hall Richard Watson Aaron Weeks Gregory Yates


A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD CHAIR The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) 2022–2025 Strategic Plan outlines our roadmap as we work towards a vision of full access and maximum participation in transportation for the underrepresented. Building upon an impressive 50-year legacy, this plan identifies vital focus areas placing COMTO in pace with an ever-evolving industry transformed by social, technological and legislative action. The COMTO support network and sphere of influence continue to grow with the establishment in 2020 of a COMTO chapter in Canada, supporting Toronto & Region. Enriched perspectives, networking, and meaningful support for the region's professionals grow with COMTO's footprint across North America. With a global pandemic that has touched every aspect of daily life, people and industries worldwide, the COMTO mission resounds more clearly than ever. To achieve equity in transportation, we must ensure equity from the entry point to the decision-making table and all levels in between. A focus on the future of the transportation workforce starts in the present and requires strategic, meaningful action. With critical goals around engagement and retention, professional development, and advocacy, COMTO stands stronger than ever, poised to take a leadership role in an industry now prioritizing equity. With innovation at the forefront of programming, collaboration, and advocacy, COMTO will continue to move the nation and beyond as the voice for equity in transportation.

Tanya Adams Chair, COMTO Board of Directors Vice President Inclusion & Diversity, WSP USA


COMTO’s 50th Anniversary In 2021, COMTO celebrated 50 years of moving the nation. This graphic demonstrates how far COMTO has come, including the organization’s growth over the past 50 years.

34 Chapters Across the U.S. and One International Chapter


Nearly 2,500 Members

Members Work in Aviation, Highway, Transit, Maritime and Other Modes

Provides Leadership and Opportunities for the Underrepresented as the Voice for Equity in Transportation

COM TO Conference

Began in 1971 at Howard University


Membership Now Represents Various Ethnic and Racial Backgrounds


First Conference Hosted 77 Participants


Membership Initially Comprised of African-Americans


Urban Mass Transit Administration Hosted a National Meeting That Culminated in COMTO



Established as a Forum for Minority Professionals in Transportation


From Moving the Nation, to Moving the World! In March 2020, we welcomed our first international chapter, Toronto! This addition transitioned COMTO from a national to an international organization, now supporting Toronto & Region. COMTO Toronto & Region has diligently been advocating, enriching and supporting their members and partner organizations to better reflect the communities in which they operate. COMTO plans to add more international chapters as we move forward. As an international organization, we are expanding our global perspective. With this change, COMTO agrees with the United Nations Human Rights System definition of minorities—a group within a national territory, characterized by their own national, ethnic, linguistic or religious identity, which differs from the majority population.



VISION Our vision is to ensure full access for minorities in transportation while preparing and positioning leaders for rapidly evolving global opportunities.

MISSION Our mission is to ensure opportunities and maximum participation in the transportation industry for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and HUBs (Historically Underutilized Businesses defined as Disadvantaged, Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprises) through leadership training, professional development, scholarship and internship funding, political advocacy, partnership building and networking opportunities.


COVID-19 IMPACT AND RESPONSE In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began, impacting people and industries How We Moved Forward worldwide. COMTO, like many other organizations, had to cease hosting large COVID-19 Committee in-person events. COMTO moved swiftly to Virtual National Meeting and Training Conference create a COVID-19 Committee to advise the organization on how to move forward. Webinars COMTO began to hold virtual events to Virtual Trainings and Events engage our members and partners. COMTO Members Employed as Locally, COMTO chapters hosted virtual Front-Line Workers events and discovered alternate ways to • Bus Operators • Technicians maintain their networks while helping • Rail Operators and • Dispatchers their local communities. Adapting to the • Customer Service Yard Masters • ever-evolving world from this pandemic • Freight Operators • Representatives has helped to sustain COMTO. We now Maintenance • Utility Workers have several alternative solutions to Ticket Agents Workers further COMTO's mission to prepare for the future.



While creating the 2022–2025 Strategic Plan, the Strategic Planning Committee reviewed the previous plan and completed a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. The analysis results revealed three areas COMTO should focus on for the future: (1) Engagement & Retention; (2) Professional Development; (3) and Advocacy.


To engage and maintain relationships with individuals and entities committed to equity, to increase and retain membership support of COMTO.


To aid in the professional development of COMTO members to build a network of individuals prepared to take on leadership roles within the industry.


To advocate on behalf of underrepresented groups in transportation.



COMTO will engage transportation professionals, students, interns, industry partners, agencies, HUBs, HBCUs and other entities to encourage discussion, collaborate on solutions and share resources to further COMTO's mission and work towards achieving COMTO's vision to increase and retain membership support.

61 University Transportation Centers (UTCs) Near1 COMTO Chapters


—Increase annual scholarships, paid internships and mentor opportunities for middle, high school and college students and develop a tracking program to facilitate engagement with present and former COMTO interns and scholarship recipients.


—Encourage and support the professional development of COMTO members by providing innovative, relevant programming and educating employers on the importance of the COMTO mission.

KEY INDICATORS — Increased membership support from professionals representing diverse modes, professions, abilities, genders and ethnic backgrounds. —Consistent engagement and support of current and developing COMTO programs for members.

44 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Near COMTO Chapters 28 Transportation Related Activities for COMTO Chapters for K-12 Students2

7 UTCs at HBCUs Near COMTO Chapters

COMTO Partners

74 Agencies 328


Corporate Partners

Corporate Partner Officers in Same Metropolitan Area as COMTO Chapters COMTO has the opportunity to engage with college students and corporate partners near COMTO chapters to promote COMTO’s mission.




COMTO will provide members with professional development training through various conferences, programs, workshops and committee opportunities, to build a network of individuals prepared to take on leadership roles within the transportation industry.


—Use data to strategically promote existing programs to individuals at various stages of career advancement. —Develop new, innovative programming to address the ever-evolving needs of industry leadership and skill-building. —Create training opportunities to promote professional growth and gain experience needed to serve on Boards.

U.S. Data3

Ontario Data (Including Toronto)4 Population, 2016

Population, 2019 Minorities3 39%

Visible Minorities 29%

Non-Minorities 61%

Transportation and Warehousing Employees, 2016

Transportation Industry Employees, 2019 Minorities 31%

European Descent 71%

Visible Minorities 34%

Non-Minorities 69%

European Descent 66%


—Increased support of existing programs and committees focused on professional development. —Strengthened strategic alliances with associations and groups aligned with the COMTO mission. —Continued professional advancement of COMTO members.


15 8

Providers Offering Transportation Webinars5


Opportunities to Link With Other Transportation Organizations6

• • • • • •

COMTO Members in Senior/Leadership Positions

Chief Executive Officers Vice Presidents Other Chief & Executive Roles Directors Supervisors Managers



COMTO will build upon its 50-year legacy as the voice of equity in transportation by using its resources to educate key officials and promote action and decisions in support of COMTO's mission.

COMTO Membership by Employer Type, 2021

COMTO Membership by Mode Type, 2021

HOW WE DO IT —Strategic use of traditional and social media outlets to showcase the benefits of equity, diversity, inclusivity and access. —Educating political officials on the impacts of proposed and existing legislation affecting COMTO constituents. —Providing resources to COMTO chapters to educate key officials more effectively at the local and state levels.


—Continued advisory outreach to COMTO Headquarters and COMTO chapters from local, state and federal officials. —Timely promotion of key information, recommended action and resources to COMTO members on industry-related issues and legislation.

Public Agencies 36% Colleges, Associations & Organizations 4%

Private Companies 43% Government & Planning Departments 17%

Transit7 40% Rail 1%

Multi-Modal 40%

Port 2%

Aviation 2%

Freight 1%

Other8 12%

Highway 2%

540 Bills Currently in Legislation Relating to Transportation9

36 Advocacy Groups Relating to


COMTO has the opportunity to advocate on behalf of nearly 2.4 million minorities working in transportation through partnering with advocacy groups and raising awareness on social media.






Page 10: Data reflects within a 60 mile radius. 2

Page 10: Data reflecs K-12 Transportation-Related STEM Activities from the Institute of Transportation Engineers. 3

Page 12: Data reflects U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. 4

Page 12: Data reflects 2016 Canada Census of Population Statistics. 5

Page 12: Webinar providers include American Planning Association Transportation Planning Division, American Public Transportation Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, Association for Commuter Transportation, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycles Professionals, Council of University Transportation Centers, ENO Center for Transportation, Intelligent Transport, Intelligent Transportation Society of America National Center for Sustainable Transportation, National Rural Transit Assistance Program, Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, Transportation Research and Education Center, Transport Topics and the U.S. Department of Transportation. 6

Page 12: Organizations include bus and rail transit. 7

Page 14: Data from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Active Transportation Council. 8

Page 14: Other consists of marketing, law, accounting, recruiting, strategy, management, diversity and inclusion, promotion and photography businesses. 9

Page 14: Data from GovTrack.us. Page 14:



Data from the American Public Transportation Association.


THE VOICE FOR EQUITY IN TRANSPORTATION COMTO Headquarters 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 203 Alexandria, VA 22314 info@comtonational.org www.comtonational.org