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9th Construction Expo Sees Record Attendance

San Diego Unified Hosts 9th Annual Construction Expo with Record-Breaking Attendance
Posted on 08/06/2019

August 6, 2019

SAN DIEGO - Nine years ago, the San Diego Unified's Business Outreach Program, within the Facilities Planning and Construction (FPC) Department, hosted its first Construction Expo, with a goal of providing viable opportunities for emerging, small and underutilized construction-related businesses to participate in Propositions S & Z, and now Measure YY, construction projects.

This July, the construction expo saw its largest turnout at Kearny High School, with 493 registrants and more than 320 participants joining the Business Outreach Team.

“It's exciting to see our initial idea grow into such a successful annual event,” said Alma Banuelos, Outreach Business Coordinator for the district's Business Outreach Program. “Each year we see more and more diverse businesses come to learn about San Diego Unified's construction program; I can't wait to see what next year brings.”

San Diego Unified Construction ExpoAt the expo held on July 17, district staff taught contractors, suppliers and consultants about district policies, projects, and operations; as well as provided resources for business development via construction and small business support organizations.

San Diego Unified's top general contractors and consultants were on hand to discuss bid requirements and business opportunities with attendees. Information on regional contracting opportunities was provided by other county agencies. Local industry organizations were there to discuss what they can offer growing businesses.

FPC held its annual workshops during the Expo to enhance the experience for attendees. “I'm at the Expo, Now What,” is designed to give a brief, but detailed, outline of the event, including hints on how to make the most out of the time at the expo. The “Prime Panel” is a panel of prime contractors that have worked on district projects. Each shared their perspectives on what they are looking for in subcontractors for their team.

To ensure small, minority, women, and disabled veteran-owned companies are aware of these contracting opportunities, the district maintains a database used to notify businesses who express interest on district projects.

“We notify these companies of bidding opportunities via email, social networks, and other media,” Business Outreach Program Manager Karen Linehan said. “We also promote contracting opportunities at many outreach and procurement events throughout the year, including those hosted by the Public Agency Consortium.”

Linehan's team also issues the Business Outreach Newsletter to provide construction bond program updates, contracting information, upcoming bid opportunities, procurement news, and more. Her team also provides subcontractors with tools to network with general contractors, such as plan holder lists and pre-bid site walk attendance sheets.

So far, in 2019, Emerging Business Enterprises (EBE) has seen roughly 50.72% of dollars awarded to Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise, Minority-owned Business Enterprise, Women-owned Business Enterprise, and Small Business Enterprise.

Business Outreach Event

The District's bond-funded Capital Improvement Program has created 23,901 job-years*, with daily expenditures of over $1.1 million per day.

“Not only are we fixing schools, we are directly lifting up the local economy,” San Diego Unified Chief Facilities Planning and Construction Officer Lee Dulgeroff said.

The district's FPC and the Business Outreach team hosted the event. For more information on the district's business outreach efforts or how to do business with the district, contact Karen Linehan at 858-627-7232 or [email protected]; or Alma Banuelos, Outreach Business Coordinator, at 858-573-5852 or [email protected].

*A job-year is one year of work for one person; a new construction job that lasts five years is five job-years. It is a more precise measure because an individual job may last for six months, a year, or a lifetime.