Local, Regional Contractors and Subcontractors Play Major Role in Water Partnership Projects
News Release from City of Lake Oswego, September 20th, 2013 1:15 PM
Tigard, Portland, Tualatin, Clackamas, Salem, Aurora. These are just a few of the local communities from which subcontractors and suppliers for the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnership projects are being hired. The Partnership's two initial projects, the river intake pump station in Gladstone, and the water treatment plant in West Linn, have been awarded to Slayden Construction Group from Stayton, Oregon. As the general contractor, Slayden has hired many local and regional suppliers and subcontractors for various aspects of the work. Contracts for both projects total about $76 million. Additional Partnership related projects associated with the $250 million infrastructure upgrades will be awarded over the next five months, creating or retaining over 2200 jobs.
Both projects are heavily using local subcontractors and vendors. Nearly 80% of vendors and subcontractors for both projects are within 50 miles of Lake Oswego. On a regional basis, 95% of all 84 are located in Oregon and Washington.
"We're a local company (Stayton, OR) and we like to hire local companies," said Scott Austin, Slayden Senior Vice President. "Investing in local companies keeps local residents employed who have a stake in the project's outcome, and that's important to us." Austin added that 110 of Slayden's employees live within 60 miles of the intake and treatment plant projects. The treatment plant's project manager is a resident of West Linn.
Austin says, "Another reason we are grateful for local projects is that it keeps employees and their families together, which makes for more productive workers. We save money, which allows us to invest in our employees with more education and training.
Studies show that local workers also spend part of their wages in local shops and restaurants. That spending re-circulates throughout the economy. The practice also keeps tax dollars in state and local coffers for local benefits such as transportation, emergency services, schools, parks, and more.
Team Electric (Clackamas, Oregon) is one local company that Slayden has hired for both the river intake and the water treatment plant. Garrett Kitchen, Project Manager for Team, said "These projects are important to us because they are pretty substantial contracts that will carry us through several years. When facility construction ramps up, we expect to hire between 11 and 15 additional employees. We like working close to home to keep costs down and so we can pull workers from of our local union."
The 'multiplier effect' of hiring local, spreads to other companies as well. Kitchen indicates that many of their materials suppliers are down the street or in Portland. "It's also beneficial for local delis, markets and coffee shops when we come to town" said Garrett.
Fought and Company, Inc. is a local subcontractor from Tigard, specializing in steel fabrication. Fought will be providing the structural steel for the access bridge leading to the new river intake in Gladstone. "This is not a huge job for us," said Steve Fugate, the Operations Manager for Fought. "Its 30 tons and we consider 1000 tons a more typical job, but since this needs bridge certification, they came to us for our specialty certifications." According to Fugate, being a quality driven company, Fought likes to visit every installation site. Having local work makes this easier.
Tigard and Lake Oswego joined together in 2008 to share drinking water and upsize Lake Oswego's facilities to serve both communities. Lake Oswego's water system needs physical and capacity upgrades and Tigard needs a long term, reliable and affordable water system. System improvements will also enable the Partnership to provide emergency backup water to the City of West Linn year round.