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Citi Field still needs contractors

Citi Field is springing up in record time, but that doesn’t mean that all the work has been given out.
Quite the contrary, said Scott Hamburg, senior project manager for Hunt/Bovis Lend Lease, the joint venture created to build the Mets’ new house in the Borough of Homes.
At a “Contract Fair” held in the Diamond Club at Shea Stadium on Wednesday, November 14, Hamburg was joined by Borough President Helen Marshall and Mets’ Vice President for Business Operations David C. Howard, who appeared before some 50 small business representatives, to praise the diversity of the labor pool on the highest-profile project in Queens, the country’s most diverse county.
Marshall pointed out that almost a quarter of the people working on the new stadium were Queens residents, and more than a quarter of the workforce was comprised of women and minorities.
Howard praised the co-operation between government, Hunt/Bovis and the Mets, pointing with pride to the fact that nearly a third of the firms engaged in the project were minority or women-owned business enterprises (MWBE), and that nearly half were Queens-based.
The purpose of the fair was to encourage MWBE and other small firms to seek work on the project.
“There are approximately 400 prime and 700 sub-contracts open,” Hamburg revealed.
Hamburg ticked off a list of examples - the need for painters, drywall installers and sanitary suppliers - and sources for things most people wouldn’t consider, from band-aids to detention cells.
That’s not to say that just anyone can show up with a ladder and tool belt and expect to sign a contract.
Hunt/Bovis has strict requirements for vendors to be insured, and for larger contracts ($300,000 and up) firms must be bonded.
Also appearing at the Contract Fair were representatives from the Queens Economic Development Corporation; the city’s Department of Small Business Services; the Empire State Development Corporation and York and LaGuardia Community Colleges. All have offices to help small business.
A prospective small-businessman asked about the process. “We’re painters and we do superlative work. You can’t see that in a form - we need to be able to show you what we can do.”
Hamburg responded, “We can work with you. That’s why we’re here today”
The painter shot back, “Are you sure? We’re from Brooklyn.”

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