D.C. Residents See Increase in Opportunities at Federal Construction Sites in D.C.


Grunley Construction to Host Job-Readiness Workshop December 1

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the most recent data available (September 2016) on the number of District of Columbia residents hired to work at federal construction sites in the District and D.C. small businesses with subcontracts at the sites.  The projects did not hire new workers during this period except for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters project at St. Elizabeths, where Grunley Construction hired an additional D.C. resident.  A new small business set-aside was awarded for DHS Operations Center phase 2 fit-out.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

The Congresswoman keeps track of D.C. hires and small business contracts at federal construction sites, and conducts unannounced, on-site visits, because anyone, regardless of residency, can work on any federally financed project and federal law prohibits specific quotas for the hiring of local residents.  Fortunately, Norton said, existing federal regulations allow the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to conduct aggressive employment outreach for local residents to work on projects being constructed in their communities, including in the District.  D.C. residents comprise roughly 10% of the region’s population, offering a reasonable minimum baseline.

At the Lafayette Building modernization, Grunley Construction reported that 19.2 percent of workers were D.C. workers.  This project has held steady at a reasonably high level of D.C. residents employed, having never fallen below 18 percent since Norton began collecting data on the site.  There were no small businesses contracted at the Lafayette Building project because work will be winding down this fall.

At the Old Post Office Building, Trump Construction reported 11.2 percent of total worker hours were completed by D.C. workers, the same as the month before.  Trump Construction has consistently reported at least 10 percent of contracts going to D.C. small businesses.  The hotel opened in September.

At the Harry S. Truman Building modernization, Clark Construction reported that 8.4 percent of workers were D.C. residents.  Employees are currently working in an occupied wing of the building, which limits the number of construction workers on site.  However, late this summer, two wings became entirely vacant and available for construction work, and Norton said that the time has come for an increase in D.C. workers hired at this site.

At the DHS headquarters construction project at St. Elizabeths in Ward 8, Grunley reported 7.8 percent were D.C. workers, a small increase from the previous month, and General Dynamics reported 1.4 percent were D.C. workers, as multiple D.C.- and non-D.C.-workers left the site.  The current period of interior demolition requires a smaller workforce because it involves careful historic preservation work.

With no new subcontractors from any jurisdiction hired by Grunley or General Dynamic in September at St. Elizabeths, D.C. small business representation remained the same for Grunley and General Dynamics. There are currently a total of three D.C. small businesses out of 16 subcontractors for Grunley Construction on site.  General Dynamics is not currently engaged in subcontract work for small businesses.  However, the list of 20 small businesses on which General Dynamics relies includes two D.C. small businesses.  There will be more opportunities for small businesses once Grunley completes interior work and General Dynamics is able to begin its IT work on the Center Building.  Norton says she understands the highly-skilled nature of General Dynamics’ IT work, which also requires substantial security clearances, but she wants to see an increase in the number of D.C. workers and small businesses brought on by General Dynamics.

Norton was able to secure $556.7 million for DHS consolidation at St. Elizabeths in the fiscal year 2016 omnibus appropriations bill, which will mean more work for D.C. residents and D.C. small businesses.  In the next year, work will begin at St. Elizabeths on the new access road to support federal employee traffic, which was funded in fiscal year 2015.  GSA is also working to award some construction contracts directly to small businesses in the coming year.

GSA continues to staff an Opportunities Center at St. Elizabeths (2701 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SE, St. Elizabeths West Campus), which Norton worked with GSA to establish after she got the first funds for the DHS headquarters project in 2009.  The Opportunities Center is open weekdays, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., where GSA staff provide assistance on all federal projects to prospective employees and contractors and help 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.

Grunley Construction will host a free job readiness workshop on Thursday, December 1, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. – noon at the Grunley Construction Company Trailer (2701 Martin Luther King Ave. SE).  The workshop will help residents on how to write a resume, how to prepare for an interview, what to ask at an interview and how to follow up.  The workshop is meant to help D.C. residents gain employment at the St. Elizabeths site.

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 September 2016
Grunley Construction Design/Build of the Historic Center Building 24 of 305 (7.8%)
General Dynamics DHS Technology Integration Program (TIP) 1 of 77 (1.3%)
CW Resources Custodial and Related Services 52*
Facilities Development Corp. DHS Operations Center A 2*

* No percentage of employees reported

Old Post Office Building

Contractor Total D.C. Residents Employed as percentage of total as of September 2016
Trump Construction 117,286 man hours of 1,044,287 man hours (11.2% of total)

 Other Large D.C. Federal Projects

Contractor Project Total D.C. Residents Employed as percentage of total as of September 2016
Grunley Construction Lafayette Building Modernization 20 of 104 (19.2%)
Clark Construction Harry S. Truman Modernization 24 of 285 (8.4%)



Previous articleHUD Properties Available for Homeless Services