Norton Outreach Requirements Yield Construction Jobs for D.C. Residents at Some Federal Projects


WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 3, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today announced new statistics showing District of Columbia residents employed and D.C. small businesses contracted at federal construction projects in the city that were achieved through Norton’s legislative work.  The new numbers reflect resumption in construction at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters at St. Elizabeths as well as other new projects that are underway.  The projects showing the highest percentages of D.C. residents employed are, in order, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History (Clark Construction, 13%), Lafayette Building Modernization (Grunley Construction, 13%), the Old Post Office Building (Trump Construction, 12.6%), and the Harry S. Truman Modernization (Clark Construction, 10%).  All of these projects show D.C. residents representing over 10% of workers, higher than the regional representation of D.C. residents.  The DHS headquarters project on the Ward 8 St. Elizabeths Campus is the largest federal construction project in the country.  Two of the contractors currently working on the St. Elizabeths project, Grunley Construction and General Dynamics, reported rates of employed D.C. residents at less than 3%.  General Dynamics is doing IT installation on the St. Elizabeths campus.  They are doing high-skill work and the jobs require extensive security clearances.  CW Resources, the third contractor operating at St. Elizabeths, reported having 68 D.C. residents employed for custodial and related services, and one employed for D.C. building operations and maintenance services, but did not report their total number of employees working at St. Elizabeths.  Norton said she expects D.C. employment rates at St. Elizabeths to improve because the main building for the DHS secretary and his 900 top staff just came out of the design phase and is about to enter the main construction and renovation phases, which will require positions for which many D.C. construction workers are well-suited.  Norton said she will closely monitor the subcontractors as well, and will hold the prime contractor, Grunley, accountable on the follow-through to its subcontractors.

Norton is also tracking the number of D.C. small businesses awarded contracts at the St. Elizabeths site and the Old Post Office Building.  At the Old Post Office Building, Trump Construction has awarded 10% of the value of qualifying contracts to D.C. small businesses.  So far, Grunley Construction has hired only one D.C. small business, but with its design only approved last week, Norton said this number is expected to increase.

“When there is significant federal construction that proceeds from my work in Congress, my obligation does not cease upon getting the bill passed or funding appropriated,” Norton said.  “Although federal law allows any American to work on federal construction projects, it is only fair that we use the available legal tools, such as aggressive outreach, to see that D.C. residents have the opportunity for jobs in their own city.  These monthly statistics hold federal contractors accountable and gauge whether they are fulfilling their obligation to our local economy.  I recognize some of the D.C. sites are still in a start-up phase, but we expect to see monthly improvements in D.C. employment and small business utilization.”

Norton monitors and publishes monthly numbers of D.C. residents hired and D.C. small business contracts on federal projects in the District.  Anyone, regardless of residency, can work on a federally financed project, and federal law prohibits local jurisdictions from using specific quotas for the hiring of local residents.  However, outreach in the local community is encouraged.  Prior to the start of heavy construction, Norton met with contractors to discuss hiring D.C. residents, to determine the job skills that would lend themselves well to D.C. residents, and to identify projects that would be well-suited for D.C. small businesses.  As she has done in the past, Norton also makes unannounced visits to federal construction sites and holds roundtables to report progress.

GSA has also set up 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 to prospective employees and helps small businesses with hiring and contracting processes at St. Elizabeths and other GSA sites.  The 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 to date.

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 October 2015
Grunley Construction Design/Build of the Historic Center Building 2 of 79 (2.5%)
General Dynamics DHS Technology Integration Program (TIP) 2 of 71 (2.8%)
CW Resources Custodial and Related Services 68*
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 October 2015
Trump Construction 46,237 man hours of 367,722 man hours (12.6% of total)

Other Large D.C. Federal Projects

Contractor Project Total D.C. Residents Employed as percentage of total as of October 2015
Clark Construction Smithsonian National Museum of African American History 333 of 2601 (13%)
Grunley Construction Lafayette Building Modernization 82 of 630 (13%)
Clark Construction Harry S. Truman Modernization 52 of 520 (10%)
Next articlePhiladelphia to Host Urban Land Institute’s 2016 Spring Meeting, Set for April 19-21