Developers Responding to Norton’s Public Tracking of D.C. Residents and Small Businesses on Federal Construction Projects

Follow-Up Roundtable on May 3 to Hear From Developers, GSA, and D.C. Residents and Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — The office Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the most recent statistics, February 2016, on the number of District of Columbia residents employed and D.C. small businesses contracted at federal construction projects in the city resulting from Norton’s legislative work, which show some improvement.  In addition, as part of her oversight efforts to ensure her congressional economic development bills and committee work yield opportunities for D.C. residents and small businesses, Norton will host a roundtable on federal construction projects on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, at 6:00 p.m., in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building.

Construction sites showing the highest percentages of D.C. residents employed are, in order from highest to lowest, the Lafayette Building Modernization (Grunley Construction, 18.1%), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (Clark Construction, 13%), the Old Post Office Building (Trump Construction, 11.3%), the Harry S. Truman Modernization (Clark Construction, 8.3%), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters construction project at St. Elizabeths in Ward 8 (Grunley Construction, 5.4%; General Dynamics, 3.9%).  All projects, except for the Old Post Office Building, showed improvements from December to February, particularly the Lafayette Building Modernization, which increased from 12.8 percent to 18.1 percent.

Norton is also tracking the number of D.C. small businesses awarded contracts at all federal construction sites in the District.  At this time, only Trump Construction at the Old Post Office Building and Grunley construction and General Dynamics at St. Elizabeths have subcontracts, which can be awarded to D.C. small businesses.  At the Old Post Office building, 10 percent of small business contracts continue to be awarded to D.C.-certified small businesses – Magna Construction, Joseph J. Magnolia and Quality Elevator.  At St. Elizabeths, only two of the 15 small businesses that Grunley is subcontracting to perform work are D.C. small businesses, accounting for only 2.1% of subcontracts.  Similarly, only two of the 20 small businesses General Dynamics has subcontracted to perform work have been D.C. small businesses, though no small businesses are currently performing work for General Dynamics.

While the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is close to completion with the opening of the museum scheduled for September 2016 and the new hotel at the Old Post Office is also expected to open this year, both have shown D.C. resident hires and D.C. small business subcontracts meeting the minimum of 10 percent that D.C. residents make up in the National Capital Region.  However, Norton said that in some job categories, the percentages easily could be higher than 10 percent.  She said major improvements are needed, particularly by Grunley and General Dynamics at St. Elizabeths.

At St. Elizabeths, the Center Building, which will house the DHS Secretary and 900 staff, came out of the design phase in December and is entering the main construction and renovation phases.  In the next year, work also will begin on the new access road to support federal employee traffic, which was funded in fiscal year 2015.  Norton was also able to secure $556.7 million for DHS consolidation in the fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill.

The Norton roundtable on May 3, 2016, will provide an opportunity to learn in greater detail about the hiring practices on federal construction projects in the District and to hear directly from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and developers.  D.C. residents will be able to hear directly about upcoming opportunities for employment and businesses contracts at these sites.

Norton makes public the number of D.C. residents hired and D.C. small business contracted on federal projects in the District every month and her office must receive information from contractors by the 15th of each month.  Anyone, regardless of residency, can work on a federally financed project, and federal law prohibits from using specific quotas for the hiring of local residents.  However, existing federal regulations allow GSA to conduct aggressive employment outreach to local residents for projects being constructed in their communities, including in the District.  GSA continues to staff an Opportunities Center at St. Elizabeths (2701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE, St. Elizabeths West Campus), which is open weekdays, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and provides assistance on all federal projects to prospective employees and contractors and helps small businesses with hiring and contracting processes at St. Elizabeths and other GSA sites.  The Opportunities Center also offers resume writing workshops, job postings, 8(a) small business training, and community outreach.

Below is the hiring breakdown by company and total hiring at federal construction sites through February 2016.

Ward 8 Department of Homeland Security Headquarters Project on the St. Elizabeths Campus

Contractor Project Total D.C. Residents Employed and percentage of total as of February 2016
Grunley Construction Design/Build of the Historic Center Building 11 of 205 (5.4%)
General Dynamics DHS Technology Integration Program (TIP) 3 of 76 (3.9%)
CW Resources Custodial and Related Services 63*
CW Resources Building Operations and Maintenance Services 1*

* No total number of employees reported

Old Post Office Building

Contractor Total D.C. Residents Employed as percentage of total as of February 2016
Trump Construction 70,406 man hours of 622,139 man hours (11.3% of total)

Other Large D.C. Federal Projects

Contractor Project Total D.C. Residents Employed as percentage of total as of February 2016
Clark Construction Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 363 of 2833 (13%)
Grunley Construction Lafayette Building Modernization 10 of 55 (18.1%)
Clark Construction Harry S. Truman Modernization 43 of 520 (8.3%)

Source: The office Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

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