Tampa Airport Sets Subcontractor Workshop

June 05--TAMPA -- With a plan to award $120 million in work to local women-, minority-owned and disadvantaged firms, Tampa International Airport will host a workshop June 26 for subcontractors interested in getting in on the airport's largest expansion to date.

The Airport Master Plan Subcontractor Outreach and Opportunities Fair is scheduled to take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the airport Marriott Hotel.

The idea is to connect the local subcontractors with the general contractors awarded bids for the master plan projects.

"We now know more about our schedule, so the subs can talk to the major designers and builders," airport Vice President of Facilities and Administration Al Illustrato told the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board Thursday. "We have pretty high requirements in these contracts," so this workshop will be a great way for the subcontractors to learn exactly what would be required of them.

The master plan improvements will take place between now and 2018. In all, the plan components will cost some $943 million.

Airport offiicials estimate that the first phase of the master plan will create 9,000 temporary jobs and will have an economic impact on the community of $370 million over the next four years.

That first phase includes construction of a consolidated rental car facility, the 1.3-mile automated people mover connecting the rental car facility to the main terminal, expansion of the main terminal's third level, where people catch shuttles to the airside terminals, and concessions redevelopment.

The workshop is open to all small businesses interested in getting in on the airport expansion and improvements. To register, go to www.tampaairport.com. More information on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program and Woman & Minority-owned Business Enterprise Programs can be found at tampaairport.com.

The airport has paid out more than $131 million to local and national disadvantaged, women- and minority-owned businesses for design and construction work over the past decade. And more than $175 million in revenue has been earned by those same types of businesses through the airport's concessions program, according to a press release issued by Tampa International.

Another $129 million was paid to disadvantaged business owners through rental car contracts, for a total of $435 million over the past 10 years.

The small-business program has been in place for years and was updated in 2009 to accept more types of certification, which expanded the pool of qualified businesses. Since then, the airport has paid $32 million to local companies through that program, airport officials say.

Airport Chief Executive Officer Joe Lopano started the agency's Office of Ethics, Diversity and Administration in 2011 to focus more on the effort of contracting with these small businesses.

"This outreach is the first in our history," Lopano said. "Any small and minority business is invited to participate," he told the board. "It's working great in our concessions and rental car programs. We want them to be engaged and understand the process."

Elita McMillon, the airports director of Ethics, Diversity and Compliance, said participation of women- and minority-owned subcontractor businesses in the master plan is a top priority for the airport. "We hope this and other outreach efforts will make it easy for us to exceed our diversity goals."

yhammett@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7127

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