Tester: Federal agencies will emphasize local contractors for stimulus work

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today announced that two federal agencies overseeing some contracts for upcoming federally funded construction projects in Montana will put an emphasis on hiring local subcontractors for the work.
The decision is a result of Tester’s efforts to involve as many Montana businesses as possible to work on projects funded by the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Jobs Bill.
So far, the Jobs Bill is investing more than $1 billion in Montana’s highways, ports of entry, rural water systems, forests and other projects designed to help rebuild America’s economy by creating jobs.
After Tester raised concerns about hiring out-of-state prime contractors for the projects, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said they stress the importance of hiring local companies as a standard practice.
Today the Missoulian newspaper reported that it’s “possible that a portion of the Montana port projects still could be bid directly to smaller general contractors, including local companies.”  Five ports of entry will receive more than $77 million to upgrade or rebuild facilities.
“I want to make sure the playing field is level so all folks have a chance to compete, and that we focus on the importance of creating jobs in Montana,” said Tester, a member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee.
To help Montana businesses find Jobs Bill opportunities and compete for bids, Tester organized a workshop Saturday in Great Falls.

Representatives from GSA, CBP, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force and the U.S. Forest Service will be on hand to answer questions and provide one-on-one information to Montana companies.
Tester’s workshop is free and open to the public.  It will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, at the Great Falls Civic Center.


WHO:     U.S. Senator Jon Tester
             Montana small businesses
             Federal agencies

WHEN:   Saturday, June 13
             10 a.m.

WHERE:  Great Falls Civic Center
             City Commission Chamber
             2 Park Drive South