Montana companies awarded northern border contracts

Tester pushed agencies to consider Montana subcontractors for port projects

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Two Montana businesses have been awarded major federal subcontracts to create jobs by rebuilding ports of entry along America’s northern border with Canada, Senator Jon Tester announced today.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says Billings-based CTA Architects Engineers has been awarded the design subcontract on a $7.5 million contract for work on the Port of Morgan, north of Malta.  CTA says it also has been awarded similar subcontracts for ports of entry in Noonan, N.D., and Antler, N.D.

J. Clinton Contract Services, based in Circle, has been awarded work on an $8 million subcontract to rebuild the Port of Wild Horse, north of Havre.  It has also been awarded work on a $6.6 million subcontract to rebuild the Port of Scobey.

“We’ve already started the work and we’re excited to move forward on all three of these projects,” said Jim Wertman, Managing Partner of CTA Architects Engineers.  “Our thanks to Jon for shining a light on this issue and getting the agencies and prime contractors to see the benefits of utilizing Montana businesses.  From our very first conversation about these projects he was committed to bringing jobs to Montana, and he delivered.”

In June Tester organized a workshop for Montana contractors after learning federal agencies had planned to use pre-determined, out-of-state contracting firms to rebuild or renovate five Montana ports of entry along the northern border.  The Montana projects will be funded by $77 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Tester immediately contacted top government leaders to demand a “level playing field” for Montana businesses to compete for the contracts.

“I’ve always said if Montana companies compete on their merits, they’ll win,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Homeland Security Committees.  “Working together, we got these agencies to see that hard work and common sense go a long way when doing business—especially when we’re doing business with taxpayer dollars.”

“This is good news for Montana, and the way it should be,” said Sen. Max Baucus.  “When Jon and I pushed the Customs and Border Patrol to make contracts available to Montana companies, we knew Montanans would come out on top because they are second to none.”

Tester also launched a website,, to help Montana small businesses take advantage of opportunities from the Recovery Act, which Tester calls the Jobs Bill.  An hour-long video of Tester’s Great Falls workshop is also available on his website.