4/1/2013 WCOE Chicago Caucus Meeting on Tuesday, April 9

WCOE Chicago Caucus Meeting on Tuesday, April 9

If you’re in Chicago, please join your fellow WCOE members at the monthly dinner meeting where we’ll hear from Alderman Mary O’Connor. Alderman O’Connor represents part of the northwest side of Chicago and her district includes O’Hare Airport. Come hear her thoughts on infrastructure improvement and help us instruct her on the importance of hiring women-owned construction companies. The meeting begins at 5:30pm and will be at Athena Restaurant, 212 S. Halsted St., Chicago. RSVP to Jean Meyer at [email protected] or at 800-788-3548.


WCOE Women Build America National Conference

Women Build America

Time is running out, so be sure to register for the 2013 Women Build America conference! We sold out of the initial block of hotel rooms and this block is being held only until
April 7. The conference is designed to bring together leaders in the construction industry – you’ll learn how to navigate both private and public sector opportunities across the county on local, state and federal levels. Visit the conference website for more information and to register.


NASA Reports on Its Internal Controls for Awards with Small Businesses

Although this isn’t specifically related to construction, we thought that a quick summary of NASA’s procurement report was worth sharing. Highlights (or lowlights, as we see them) include:

  • Out of a representative sampling of awards, 35% of awards that were going to women-owned businesses actually went to businesses that were not women-owned.
  • NASA procurement officials relied on a government-wide, self-certification process.
  • NASA "believes that the self-certification process warrants a Government-wide review" and has referred its audit "to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and SBA for consideration".

WCOE applauds NASA for the procurement audit that it did on itself.


State of Oregon Governor’s Marketplace

If you’re in Oregon or work in Oregon, check out the state’s Governor’s Marketplace that will be held on April 17 in Salem, OR. The Marketplace is designed to help small businesses grow within the State of Oregon. Registration closes on April 9, so be sure to register soon.


Small Infrastructure Gains Seen: Grade Changes from D to D+

The American Society of Civil Engineers released its Report Card for America’s Infrastructure and noted progress in six areas, but also noted that there is a great deal of room for improvement. Only five categories received grades higher than a D+ (bridges, ports, public parks and recreation, rail and solid waste). The lowest score, a D-, is shared by inland waterways and levees. Each category was evaluated on the basis of capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety and resilience. The ASCE estimates that $3.6 trillion in investment is needed by 2020 to maintain a state of good repair. This is $1.


ABC Reports Nonresidential Construction Spending Up

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) reports that nonresidential construction increased 0.7% in February and is up 2.6% from one year ago. That’s news that we all like to hear!



The Associated General Contractors of America reports that construction employment expanded in 35 states during February 2013. Ken Simonson, AGC’s Chief Economist notes that "There are strong indications that the expansion will continue for residential and private nonresidential construction, but investment in infrastructure and public buildings is likely to shrink further". The AGC report that Texas added the most construction jobs in February and in the last year.

Bertha Has Arrived in Seattle

Bertha, a 57’ diameter tunneling machine, arrived in Seattle earlier this week. The machine is going to start digging under downtown Seattle this summer. The boring machine will creep under Seattle at 3 inches per minute and will complete the 1.7-mile journey in 16 months. After the boring is done in late 2014, a two-lane, two-deck highway will be built inside, and the tunnel is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2015. The Washington State Department of Transportation has a great website that describes the project.

Edison Electric Institute Supplier Diversity Conference

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the leading trade association for the electric industry. EEI is hosting an annual Supplier Diversity Conference in Santa Clara, California on May 28-31. For more information, please visit the EEI Conference website.


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