PA Heart & Soul creates residentially driven plans that guide future town planning. In this process, residents are brought together to identify what matters most and reflect on what they love about their towns. The process ensures that all voices are heard, particularly ones that are often missing from these types of discussions. The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) partners with the PA Humanities Council and Community Heart & Soul on this initiative.
PennDOT strives to attract businesses, employees, and stimulate the economy through compliance functions and outreach activities. PennDOT has several equal opportunity initiatives:
1. the Paths to PennDOT Workshops initiative to assist disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) in learning about PennDOT and how to secure future contracting opportunities
2. The Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) to increase diversity and participation in the DBE Program through outreach to underserved and underrepresented companies. MPP directly addresses PennDOT’s 2018 Disparity Study findings. MPP teams up contractors and new DBE subcontractors so that new subcontractors can learn how to grow their business. PennDOT partners with its DBE Supportive Services Center to provide training, technical assistance, and business development services to DBE firms to enable them to acquire the proficiency, experience, and expertise necessary to compete on an equal basis, with non-DBE firms for federally assisted PennDOT contracts and subcontracts. An upcoming disparity study will provide the most up-to-date information to create new opportunities and address identified barriers.
Governor’s Commissions on African American Affairs, Asian American and Pacific Islander Affairs, Latino Affairs, LGBTQ Affairs, Women, and Next Generation Engagement, with leading and respected executive directors and more than 120 commissioners appointed by the Governor, help in making state government accountable and responsive to the needs of historically underserved communities by advising the Governor, Cabinet, and all agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction on policies, legislation, and programs to advance the status of those communities.
DHS has a rich history of engaging stakeholders and seeking feedback on the policies and programs utilized by those groups. The Office of Developmental Programs is in the process of engaging its stakeholders for feedback on a selective contracting proposal. Also, the Medical Assistance Transportation Program has conducted dozens of consumer listening sessions to improve non-emergency medical transportation; the Enrollment Assistance Contractor convenes regular consumer advisory committee meetings that provide input about the HealthChoices consumer experience; and, since 2019, DHS has worked closely with advocates and families to develop interventions to address the challenges children experience when receiving pediatric shift care services.