SEATTLE – The Washington State Department of Transportation, the Port of Seattle and Sound Transit honored contractors on their projects – Seattle Tunnel Partners, Manson Construction Co. and Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., respectively – for their outreach and inclusion of small and disadvantaged businesses in construction projects. The agencies presented their “Champion of Inclusion” awards at an event Nov. 16 at the Port of Seattle.
Seattle Tunnel Partners, the design-builder for the State Route 99 Tunnel Project in Seattle, received recognition from WSDOT for its innovative efforts to team up with small businesses and those owned by minorities and women on their $1.35 billion contract. Within the first year of a six-year contract, the tunnel team, a joint venture of Dragados USA and Tutor Perini Corp., awarded contracts worth $8 million to 30 qualified firms and has recruited firms in non-traditional areas for design-build projects, such as architecture and design.
“Seattle Tunnel Partners has done an outstanding job of reaching out and hiring businesses owned by minorities and women,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Their efforts are putting people to work with living-wage jobs and helping promote economic recovery in our communities.”
Manson Construction Co. is the Port of Seattle’s “Champion of Inclusion” award recipient. For many years, the company, which is a family-owned and operated marine construction and dredging business headquartered in Seattle, has demonstrated their commitment to utilizing small businesses and providing contracting opportunities to small firms. Manson Construction sponsors small business training classes and seminars designed to educate and contribute to the success and growth of small firms in the Puget Sound region.
“Small businesses are vital to the region’s economy, and the port is committed to providing opportunities to them whenever we can,” said Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani. “We are pleased to honor Manson for their partnership in helping those businesses to generate more jobs and economic growth for Seattle.”
Sound Transit honored Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure consulting firm, for its work in involving small and disadvantaged businesses in Link light rail construction projects. On its two contracts, Parsons Brinckerhoff achieved a 32.4 percent and 36.7 percent small and disadvantaged business participation rate, exceeding its goals. “We are pleased to have such an outstanding partner in building a regional transit system that will serve 358,000 riders a day by 2030,” said Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl.
WSDOT, the Port of Seattle and Sound Transit work to create a level playing field and increase the opportunities for minority and women-owned small businesses on federal-aid construction projects. Each agency sets individual project goals for contractors to use certified DBE firms. Goals are based on formulas that consider the type of project work; the location and size of the project; and the availability of ready, willing and able DBEs to perform work on the project.