In The Media

HDR’s Laura Grams Discusses Equity and Small Business Support With Metro Magazine

Laura Grams
Laura Grams

Many transit agencies and other transportation project owners are looking to increase the involvement of small and developing business enterprises on their projects. HDR’s Laura Grams, our transit planning practice leader, has helped HDR build close ties with DBEs at her local Houston office and beyond, helping them develop their capabilities and grow their businesses.

Grams recently shared insights with Metro magazine on the evolving approach to equity, strategies for improving the integration of small or disadvantaged businesses and effective workforce development. Grams, who works across transit modes to help clients deliver their critical mobility projects, shared how HDR encourages and provides new opportunities for these historically underutilized businesses.

“In our work, we often make these smaller firms task leads and make a point of giving them key opportunities to be in front of the client,” Grams said. “That helps them expand their networks, recruit new staff, and grow their businesses. It’s a win-win situation, as it provides great opportunities for these firms, gives us great partners who love working with HDR, and helps agencies see that their DBE goals are being met in meaningful ways.”

Grams also highlighted some of the challenges for agencies as they rethink how they can best serve their users, noting that planning for peak periods may be of less importance in a world where many people can choose to travel at almost any time of day or week. “Instead of peak period service,” she said, “we need more frequent service on high ridership routes all day long.”

Read the whole article, "HDR's Grams Talks Equity, Small Businesses," from Metro.