New LaGuardia Airport Construction Achieves Record $2 Billion in Contracts Awarded to Minority & Women-Owned Businesses
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a historic milestone in the transformation of a whole new LaGuardia Airport, where a record-setting $2 billion in contracts have been awarded thus far to Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises, which is the largest participation by MWBE firms at any public-private partnership project in New York State history. The redevelopment project has also demonstrated a significant focus on working with locally-based contractors; to date, $775 million in contracts have been awarded to Queens-based local business enterprises. The announcement was made at the community office of the LaGuardia Redevelopment project, located on Astoria Boulevard in East Elmhurst, where Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin joined Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton and other members of the airport community.
“Today’s milestone is enormously significant as we work toward a more inclusive and equitable economic recovery, and it is in keeping with our nation-leading goal to increase Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises participation in public contracts to 30 percent,” Governor Hochul said. “I commend the Port Authority for its commitment to breaking down barriers and leveling the playing field so that minority- and women-owned businesses have access to one of the nation’s greatest infrastructure projects at LaGuardia Airport. As one of the nation’s leading transportation agencies, the Port Authority is demonstrating what can be done to create more equity in our society and make sure that the economic benefits of great infrastructure projects reach all of our communities.”
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said, “As we continue building a whole new LaGuardia Airport worthy of New Yorkers, we are also determined to make sure that the opportunities this historic project generates reach all communities. Today’s announcement is a testament to our commitment to creating a more equal and equitable economy for all, and will go a long way towards achieving our goal of 30 percent MWBE participation. I applaud the Port Authority for their unwavering efforts and extensive outreach that helped us reach this milestone.”
This milestone comes at a time when the new airport continues to make substantial progress and see increased passenger volume, including a new high-water mark for daily passengers since the beginning of the pandemic. On the western side of the airport, the new Terminal B, being developed by LaGuardia Gateway Partners including design-build lead Skanska-Walsh, opened its four-story, light-filled arrivals and departures hall in 2020. Its next section of new gates will open in the weeks ahead, bringing the total number of new gates to 30, spread across two concourses connected to the arrivals and departures hall by the world’s first dual-pedestrian skybridges.
On the eastern side of the airport, construction of Delta Air Lines’ new Terminal C arrivals and departures hall is rapidly advancing and anticipated to open in Spring2022. The first new gates of this terminal on the airport’s far eastern side opened in 2019 with striking views of Flushing Bay. The 1.3 million square foot terminal will feature 37 new gates when complete.
To increase MWBE participation at the LaGuardia Airport Redevelopment Program, and across the agency, the Port Authority and its Office of Diversity and Inclusion created a variety of capacity-building programs that prepared firms to be successful in navigating what can at times be complex airport-related procurements. An academy for principals at architecture and engineering firms, contractor coaching programs that train firms to apply for Port Authority contracts and construction mentoring programs that recruit, train and mentor MWBE firms to bid for large public construction projects sponsored hundreds of seminars, webinars and forums to help firms become MWBE certified and to build the skill sets needed to be successful in the field.
The construction of a whole new LGA has been committed to sharing economic opportunity with the surrounding community from the outset, in concert with the help of respected neighborhood-based organizations. Since 2019, through the efforts of the LaGuardia Career Center – a partnership between the Council for Airport Opportunity, Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens – over 600 people have been placed in new jobs at the airport, nearly two-thirds of which are from Queens. In 2021 alone, 225 people have been placed at jobs on-airport, more than 60% of which are from Queens.
Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said, “Together with our private partners, we are delivering a whole new LaGuardia, including a relentless focus on ensuring contracts with Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises and with businesses within local communities. It demonstrates that we are committed to producing results and not promises when it comes to our MWBE agenda. And, our commitment to the communities has been equally intense. I am proud to say that the efforts of our partners, LaGuardia Gateway Partners and Delta, have awarded nearly $800 million in contracts to local Queens businesses.”
Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said, “This is another record-breaking day for a whole new LaGuardia Airport that already has witnessed more than its share of remarkable achievements. Today’s milestone reflects the Port Authority’s unwavering commitment to creating MWBE opportunities across all of our facilities. It’s a proud day not only for our agency, but for our airport partners and the local communities and businesses that are playing such an integral role in this ongoing LaGuardia success story.”
Port Authority Acting Chief of Diversity & Inclusion Carrol Bennett said, “We are extremely proud of this milestone which demonstrates our steadfast commitment and intentionality to drive results with our partners to provide meaningful contracting opportunities for our Minority- and Women-owned Business. It’s a commitment that fuels our collective efforts to create outreach events, customized training programs and capacity building opportunities to ensure the success of our minority and women owned business.”
Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry said, “The LaGuardia Airport redevelopment program’s historic milestone for MWBE participation represents the culmination of many years of work to ensure that the community that has been most impacted by the airport will have the most opportunities at the airport. Almost as astounding as the MWBE numbers is the local hiring for jobs at the airport. Of the 600 jobs filled so far, two thirds of the new hires are from Queens. Much is said about government when it fails to live up to promises, but LaGuardia’s MWBE program also proves that government can do things right.”
Chief Executive Officer of LaGuardia Gateway Partners Frank Scremin said, “The LaGuardia redevelopment has been a historic undertaking in so many ways, including the participation of Minority-and Women-owned Business Enterprises. We are so proud to be part of a project bringing $2B in contracts to talented MWBE firms and one that also provides significant economic benefits to our Queens neighbors. In addition to this being the largest MWBE participation in any New York State public-private partnership project, we’re thrilled that one of our investors, JLC Infrastructure, is also the first certified minority owned firm to hold equity investment in a New York State P3 project.”
President and CEO, Skanska USA, Richard Kennedy said, “Skanska Walsh Joint Venture (SWJV) is grateful to have played a significant role in outreach, training efforts, and establishing a record for contracts awarded to Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises during construction of the new LaGuardia Airport. The skills, experience and qualifications attained from MWBEs and local businesses from the LGA project will carry onto the future opportunities of critical infrastructure projects, and will serve the construction industry for years to come.”
Delta’s Managing Director, New York Corporate Real Estate Ryan Marzullo said, “Working with suppliers who reflect the communities we serve is a meaningful demonstration of Delta’s core values at work, and that commitment is evident in our major construction programs. Delta has already awarded more than $1 billion in contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses for critical work on our new terminal development at LaGuardia Airport, putting us well on track to exceed our goals of awarding 30 percent of all contracts to MWBE firms and contractors. We’re grateful for our strong partnerships with these professionals in the New York community.”
Principal and Founder of RCGA Architects, based in Jamaica, Queens, Robert Gaskin said, “We are most thankful to the LaGuardia Redevelopment Program and the Port Authority’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity for the many opportunities that have opened up for us, being that our firm has been assigned 17 enabling and demolition projects and 8 new Concession Projects at LaGuardia Airport. The contracts we were awarded at LaGuardia, at the Main Terminal helped us to sustain staffing at our company during the pandemic when other opportunities were difficult to find during the economic slowdown during COVID.”
To become a certified MWBE with the Port Authority, or to check on your certification status, please visit here. Find vendor resources and for information regarding the certification process here and find business opportunities here.
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