LARGO – Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Coleman is not shy about his desires for business owners in the county. He’s been called an evangelist and the pitchman for Prince George’s and what he wants is to make county companies millionaires and see businesses to grow. “My […]
LARGO – Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Coleman is not shy about his desires for business owners in the county.
He’s been called an evangelist and the pitchman for Prince George’s and what he wants is to make county companies millionaires and see businesses to grow.
“My goal is to create over 500 new multimillionaire businesses over the next two years,” he said. “And the way we’re going to do that, the fastest way, is to connect them to these contract opportunities with our 14 federal agencies, our airports, the state, the county and anybody else.”
To jump-start that process, Coleman and the EDC hosted a networking event in their Largo office to connect businesses with organizations that need contracts in an informative matchmaking event with approximately $5 billion in procurement opportunities on the line.
On Monday, more than 200 businesses attended the EDC’s first Transportation Industry Procurement Day where members from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), leaders of the Purple Line projects from the Maryland Department of Transportation, and a representative from the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs gave presentations about major contracting opportunities.
“The goal is job creation,” Coleman said. “We want them to be successful and the best way to create jobs is to help our entrepreneurs and small businesses be successful.”
At the event, Michael Madden and Wendell Point provided the businesses with an update on the Purple Line and the contracting opportunities moving forward. Madden, who has worked with the project since its inception in 2003, said the project received its Full Notice to Proceed on June 17 and is expecting its full funding grant agreement in July.
Point, who is the Purple Line Transit Partners Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Program Manager, discussed the MBE program overview and reiterated the project’s goals for MBE and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) integration into the project.
“We have a 26 percent DBE participation goal, for the design phase only. We have a separate goal for construction, which is 22 percent. We will have one for the light rail vehicle, to be determined, as well as for operations and maintenance,” Point said.
This means there are tremendous opportunities to contract work for the Purple line for businesses owned and operated by a person of color, woman or disabled person.
Although the project has already selected the lead contractors, lead designers and dedicated sub consultants, companies are still on the lookout for subcontractors.
In the first 180 days of the project, there are bid opportunities for numerous jobs including hauling, saw-cutting, maintenance of traffic, erosion control, pavement demolition and hazardous material, just to name a few.
Madden’s advice to the businesses was to engage early and often with the project’s lead contractors, Flour, Lane and Taylor Brothers, Inc.
MWAA also presented on opportunities at Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and with the second phase of additional construction of the Metro Silver Line.
The airports authority will have billions of dollars in contracts in the coming years for everything from concessions in the airports to contracts for the $1 billion expansion of Reagan National, which is projected to take up to 10 years to complete.
Other upcoming opportunities with MWAA include enhancements to the concourse at Dulles, snow removal services, IT application professional services, custodial services and internal audit support services.
Julia Hodge, the vice president of MWAA’s Office of Supply Chain Management, said airport authority chose to be a part of the event because it is important for the community to understand how to do business with MWAA.
“(It’s important) that they’re aware of the opportunities that are out there and we’re educating small businesses on how they can partner with the airports authority,” Hodge said.
Another key aspect of attending the event, Hodge said, is putting a face and personality to the names of businesses and their owners.
Coleman said that was a key goal for the event.
“It’s critical. Today, everything is online, but you cannot beat bringing procurement officers together so they can meet face-to-face with our businesses and with that, that starts off relationships,” he said.