Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has expressed her content with start-up figures on jobs and small business contracts for the construction of the new U.S. Department Homeland Security headquarters in Ward 8.

Norton chairs the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, which has jurisdiction over the General Services Administration and the construction site on the campus of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She is monitoring and receiving monthly reports on hiring and small business contracts at the project, and according to a recent report, of the 41 apprentices used on the project so far, 10 are D.C. residents.

The congresswoman also reports that 32 District businesses have been subcontracted and that about half are based in Ward 8, which is represented by Councilman Marion Barry.

Barry was not immediately available for comment, but Norton said the start-up results demonstrate that D.C. residents and small businesses, if given half a chance, can compete in the highly competitive federal system.

“It is still very early in the hiring and contracting process,” she said, “but the results show that our early emphasis on apprenticeship training and small business workshops is bearing fruit.”

The long-term congresswoman, who is running unopposed in ther November elections, secured $3 million for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Overall, the project is expected to generate 38,000 construction-related jobs and several small business contracts through 2016.

 

DorothyRowley

AFROStaffWriter