Special Project of the Washington State Convention Center

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Diversity & Inclusion

A Deep Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

WSCC has had a long commitment to diversity in its business practices.  This is a fully voluntary commitment, not mandated by any jurisdiction.  For the Addition project, the WSCC Board of Directors has set a goal of $80 million in participation by WMBE firms.  Like the City of Seattle, WSCC defines WMBE as state-certified or self-identified firms that are at least 51 percent WMBE owned, which includes Black-, Asian American-, Hispanic-, Native American- and White female-owned firms.

The WSCC outreach efforts include these components:

  • Contractor outreach.  WSCC has organized numerous bid package-related activities to ensure contractors have what they need to participate in contracting opportunities.
  • On-going engagement with community advocacy groups.  This includes: Tabor 100; National Association of Minority Contractors; Black Collective; National Association of Women in Construction; Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Korean American Chamber of Commerce; Regional Contracting Forum; Contractors, Designers and Entrepreneurs; and, the Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition. 
  • Targeted paid advertising with ethnic media.
  • Engagement with governmental agencies. 

Among the resources WSCC offers are these:

  • Tony Johnson, Tony Johnson Construction & Consulting. Tony connects minority and women service providers, suppliers and subcontractors with bid packages, matching scopes with bidders interested in and available to perform the work. Tony Johnson speaking at Bid Package Meeting.
  • Regina Glenn, Pacific Communications Consultants. Regina has provided services to clients in public, nonprofit and private sectors in delivering their message to diverse communities and stakeholders. Regina Glenn at an Outreach event.
  • Viki Bamba Chennault, Clark Construction Diversity Manager.  Viki helps companies connect with the prime contractors and subcontractors on the Addition project.  Viki Bamba Chennault speaking at an Outreach event. 
  • Strategic Partnership Program.  Clark Construction’s Strategic Partnership Program provides free construction management and business skill training in an intensive MBA-style program for small, minority-owned, woman-owned and veteran-owned businesses.

Key components of the Project Labor Agreement for the Addition are these:

  • Apprenticeships.  An apprentice utilization goal has been set targeting performance of 15 percent of all project labor hours by apprentices, including at least 15 percent minority and 8 percent women.
  • Pre-apprenticeships.  WSCC provides financial support to pre-apprenticeship programs like ANEW.  Additional pre-apprentice support will be provided in coordination with the Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council.
  • Preferred Entry.  Preferred entry programs facilitate getting new minority and women workers who are undergoing early training placed into the project.  The details of the program are still under discussion with the building trades, but will include hiring apprentices from recognized pre-apprenticeship programs.
  • Priority Hire.  The Priority Hire program incorporates zip codes for both the City of Seattle and King County.  WSCC has a goal of 19 percent Priority Hire participation and an aspirational goal of 26%, which matches the City of Seattle goals.

Meet four of Our Team Members

Dave and Rani Bal

Signs Now Washington

Dave and Rani Bal

At Signs Now Washington, co-owners Dave and Rani Bal offer comprehensive graphics and printing services – from traffic and reception signage, to billboards and vehicle wraps, meeting virtually any printing need.

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Barry Cobb

LCS Construction

Barry Cobb

With experience working alongside some of the region’s top companies like Swedish and Vulcan, Barry Cobb is no stranger to major construction projects. As president of general contracting company LCS Construction, Barry’s team specializes in general construction, tenant improvements and construction management.

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Samuel Obunike

O’Bunco Engineering International Inc.

Samuel Obunike

Bounded by four major urban streets and with multiple vehicular access points, including a below-grade loading dock, the 1.4-million-square-foot Washington State Convention Center Addition project requires substantial civil engineering expertise. Samuel Obunike, founder of O’Bunco Engineering International Inc., a full-service, multi-discipline civil engineering firm located in Kent, WA, is up to the challenge.

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Stacy Johnson and Christine Hadman

Auburn Mechanical

Stacy Johnson and Christine Hadman

When the new Summit building welcomes its first customers in early 2022, business will grow substantially at the Convention Center, bringing thousands of new visitors to the region. And with the new building comes the need for a state-of-the-art plumbing system, which is where Auburn Mechanical comes in.

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Resources for Contractors

The WSCC Addition has several resources available for qualified service providers interested in bidding on contracting opportunities. 

Union Partnerships

The existing Convention Center is a union facility. The Addition project will employ union labor during the construction process, and it is anticipated that the completed Addition will employ union labor. The construction and operation of the Addition will retain and grow thousands of quality, living wage jobs in the Seattle region.

Want More News?

Be sure to check our news section often, as we will update it consistently throughout the project.

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