On August 6, 2015, the Center co-sponsored a small and minority business networking event with Skanska USA, one of the world’s foremost construction groups leading numerous Public-Private Partnership (P3) projects in the U.S. to include the Elizabeth River Crossing in Virginia and I-4 Ultimate in Florida. More than 50 representatives from small businesses in the Washington metropolitan area attended the event at the Arlington campus.
After a welcome and opening remarks by Dr. Porter Wheeler on behalf of the Center, Skanka’s Martin Sharpless introduced a series of presentations on current and future Skanska projects in the DC area (such as D.C. Water and Sewer Headquarters, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, etc.) and outlined procedures for small businesses seeking to work with Skanska.
The presentation and discussion by Reneé Jones, Senior Regional Diversity Director (Southeast) at Skanska, revealed differences between small and minority business recruitment processes for P3s and traditional procurement projects. Jones remarked that recruitment for small businesses could start even before the submission of the proposal in order to build capacity for bidding the project. Because P3 projects tend to last for over 30 years, the recruiting of small businesses may continue throughout the life of the project.
The event provided small businesses in attendance the opportunity to network and gain valuable insight into the ways in which they can become more involved in P3 projects and collaborate with a large construction company that is at the forefront of the P3 industry.