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Volume 2, Issue 15
July 28, 2010
Federal funds play major role in providing revenue for state, local governments
 
Mary Scott NabersSales teams interested in contracting with state and local governments should not overlook the fact that the federal government is a major revenue generator for all of them. Each year, billions of dollars flow from Washington, D.C. to all 50 states. Some of the money flows to state agencies, but other funds go directly to local jurisdictions.
 
Congress is currently debating a dozen appropriations bills that will send billions of dollars to the states for public housing, transportation infrastructure, military construction and more. The House and Senate have their own versions of each bill and most are still in committee. But, watching these bills as they work their way through the legislative process will provide a hint of how much states and local jurisdictions can expect to receive and where there will be funding for future contracting opportunities.
 

IN THIS ISSUE
'Race to Top' finalists named
VA issues $12B IT RFP
Upcoming education opportunities
Opportunity of the week
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
People
Calendar of events
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19 finalists named for 'Race to Top' federal funds
 
$3 billion up for grabs in round two of competition for Recovery Act money
 
Race to TopThree billion dollars is up for grabs in the second round of the "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition - and 19 states and the District of Columbia have been named as finalist to compete for a share of the money. The funds are part of the federal Recovery Act.
 
Two states - Tennessee and Delaware - shared $600 million in funds during the first round of competition. States that are finalists in this round include Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Thirty-six states and D.C. submitted applications.
 
Arne DuncanThe 19 finalists will trek to Washington, D.C., in early August to present their reform plans to peer reviewers who scored their applications. The U.S. Department of Education plans to announce the winners of round two funding in September. "We're going to set a very high bar because we know that real and meaningful change will only come from doing hard work and setting high expectations," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan (pictured right).
 
The goal of the program is to raise education standards, improve teaching, use data more effectively to support student learning and to put underachieving schools on the fast track to better performance, said Duncan. The federal government is using these funds to support work at the local and state level as well as dollars from other funds such as the Investing in Innovation Fund, the Teacher Incentive Fund, the School Improvement grants under Title I and the federal charter school program. Nearly $10 billion will make its way from the federal government to these schools to education reform in states and local communities.
 
VA issues long-awaited RFP for $12 billion IT procurement
 
Small veteran-owned businesses will compete for approximately $1B in contracts
 
Eric ShinsekiVeteran-owned small businesses will be competing for approximately $1 billion in contracts related to the Veterans Affairs Department's extensive new information technology procurement. The $12 billion IT contract will allow smaller veteran-owned businesses the opportunity to compete with larger companies for the contracts in the department's Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology program, or T4.
 
"With T4, you don't have to settle for smaller subcontracts or set-asides," said Eric Shinseki (pictured), VA Secretary. "It's your chance to think big, to think like a prime and to succeed as one."
 
The T4 procurement was announced Monday. Shinseki said seven of the 15 prime contracts will be reserved for veteran-owned small businesses, and for of those seven will be for service-disabled veteran business owners. Large firms that are awarded contracts will have subcontracting goals for both small and veteran-owned businesses. And to ensure the subcontracting goals are met, the VA may at its discretion reserve set-asides for those businesses. The RFP includes a variety of hardware and IT services, systems and software engineering, enterprise networks, cybersecurity, operations and maintenance, program management and strategy planning and IT facilities.
 
T4 allows the VA to issue task orders without going through the General Services Administration or other contract vehicles for each project.
 
For information about this and other funding opportunities,

contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.

Strategic Selling to GovernmentProcurement Consulting
Upcoming education opportunities
 
Palm Springs buys property to be used for College of Desert campus
Steve PougnetThe Palm Springs City Council has voted to purchase 119 acres of land in north Palm Springs for the site of the College of the Desert's West Valley Campus. The campus will focus on providing job training programs. The council will pay $2.1 million for the land. Ground breaking is expected in 2012, with classes expected to start in fall 2014. The campus is expected to cost $40 million. It will feature a 70-acre park focusing on a sustainable energy system and facilities for green and clean technology research, development, training and education. The campus is expected to serve more than 20,000 full- and part-time students in hospitality and culinary arts, film, media and allied health. Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet (pictured) said the city is "tremendously excited" about the partnership with the College of the Desert to bring the new campus to an underserved community. He said it will "set the standard" for educating thousands of students for green jobs. Pougnet said it will be "one of the most green and clean in the country." Officials hope the campus will eventually become the site of the proposed Coachella Valley iHub, a state-funded program to be an incubator for creating green companies and jobs in the region. 
 
Illinois district planning $7 million in addition, upgrades to school
King Elementary School in Urbana, Illinois, is about to get a $7 million overhaul. The school is facing the addition of 18,000 square feet that will include a multipurpose room and gym. The current gym would be remodeled and made into fine arts classrooms. Air conditioning would also be added to the school. An entrance will be added on the northwest side, parking spaces will be added for parent drop-off and a bus lane on the west side of the school and sidewalks around the perimeter of the school will be added. Officials recently approved a new plan for the renovations that made the project less costly. The new design includes a plan for restoring some of the items cut if the bids come in below estimates. Those changes would include expanding the size of the gym to include bleachers, expanding the size of the multipurpose room, remodeling Title I classrooms and including two new classrooms. All but one of the elementary schools in the district will get upgrades and renovations. The high school athletic complex and auditorium will be renovated as will the middle school's cafeteria. Those projects will cost $40 million.  
 
Fresno State planning to put $20 million into agriculture research center
Charles BoyerLast year's nearly $30 million donation to Fresno State University is playing a major role in the college's plans to build a $20 million agriculture research center. Officials hope those funds can leverage even more and allow for the pooling of similar research efforts in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the College of Science and Mathematics. Officials also have a grant application pending for $15 million that they hope will allow for the building of an even bigger center. Charles Boyer (pictured), dean of he Jordan College, said having researchers in one facility would be beneficial. "The synergy and serendipity of ideas and cooperation that come out of that are hard to measure, but I would expect it would be quite great," he said. Although construction would be a year away or longer, the center will provide additional research space, room for specialized labs and equipment and offer more opportunities for collaborative efforts within the agriculture college.
 
UMass construction jobs opening up opportunities for subcontractors
Construction projects at the University of Massachusetts are opening up contracting opportunities for subcontractors. UMass Boston recently purchased the Bayside Exposition Center at a bargain basement price and expects construction to begin on two new buildings at its Dorchester Bay campus. The Lowell campus currently has work under way on its emerging technologies center and the prime contractor expects to issue up to 40 subcontracts. In Worcester, the prime research building.
 
New Mexico school plans renovations from bond sale
The Aztec, New Mexico, Municipal School District School Board has approved the sale of $12.2 million in bonds. The money will be used for renovations at Koogler Middle School.
 
Community college planning new $2.25 million center 
Michael RickenbakerConstruction is expected to begin early next year on the $2.25 million, 5,800-square-foot Dona Ana Community College Hatch Center. "We really need a center and we believe this will be a wonderful addition to Do-a Community College," said Michael Rickenbacker (pictured), university architect and director of Facilities Planning and Construction. Officials noted that a notice to proceed was also recently issued for the construction of the new bookstore on the Las Cruces campus. It will also include two small shops, auxiliary space and parking services. The community college also recently was awarded $500,000 in Recovery Act funds for energy upgrades. Those funds will be used for renovations at Martinez Hall. Technology upgrades will be paid for through part of a U.S. Department of Education Title V Hispanic Serving Institution grant. Other renovations on existing campuses also are planned. 
 
Hannibal board approves $13 million in bonds for school projects
The Hannibal, Missouri, school board recently approved the sale of $13 million in bonds approved on a ballot issue in April. The proceeds will pay for a new elementary school, an Early Childhood Center and facilities improvements throughout the district. The new elementary school will cost $7.5 million and will be home to 360 students. The Early Childhood Center will be a one-story, 26,000-dquare-foot facility and carries a price tag of $4 million. Bids are expected to be sought this fall with an expected date of completion in time for the start of the 2012 school year. Some of the smaller projects on the drawing board will likely be bid next spring.
 
Missouri State plans $57 million in renovation projects
The Executive Committee of Missouri State University recently approved the issuance of $56.6 million in construction and refunding bonds. Some $46.3 million in Build America Bonds (BABs) will be used for a multipurpose recreation center on the West Plains campus that will be used as a storm shelter, for residence hall life safety upgrades on the Springfield campus and other capital improvements at residential facilities. Another $10.2 million in BABs will be used to purchase, renovate and improve various health and educational facilities of the university, including: 
  • Construction of a new educational building for the Darr Agricultural Center;
  • Renovation of Looney Hall;
  • Renovations to a portion of the Robert W. Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development;
  • A 120,000-square-foot building for university business administration department and classrooms, university printing and postal services and additional academic space;
  • A nonprofit business entrepreneurial center; a new animal research compliance facility to house animals used for research; and
  • An addition to the Physical Therapy Building

San Antonio voters may face $502M bond election this fall
Ed GarzaSan Antonio Independent School District voters may face the largest bond election in the district's history this fall if trustees go along with an advisory committee's recommendation of a $502 million bond. The SAISD board will vote whether to call for the November election on Aug. 16. Trustee Ed Garza (pictured) called the bond issue "critical." The bond, if approved, would arrive as the first of three potential bonds totaling $1 billion, all part of a long-range plan to overhaul facilities. More than 12 SAISD schools will possibly close over the next decade. The bond would allow schools to absorb students from closed schools by providing for needed renovations and upgrades. 

Florida Atlantic University approves $70 million football stadium
The Florida Atlantic University football team will soon have a new stadium in which to play. The board of trustees has approved construction of a 30,000-seat stadium expected to cost $70 million. Part of the project, $44.66 million, will be paid for through a bank loan. Another $20 million will come from the university and the University Foundation, and $5 million will come from a related student housing project budget. If the funding proposal is approved by the board of governors in September, construction could begin immediately and be completed by September or October of next year. Part of the loan will be paid back by stadium revenue, which officials estimate could be $6.9 million per year, with annual increases.  
 
University of Virginia taking advantage of Build American bonds for projects
The University of Virginia recently sold $190 million of 30-year Build America Bonds that were part of the federal Recovery Act. Proceeds from the bond sale will be used to finance capital projects at the Charlottesville campus, and at the university medical center, including the Emily Couric Cancer Center. Over the next several years, the University of Virginia plans to spend $576 million on capital projects.
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900
.
 
Opportunity of the week...
Commissioners in a Tennessee county recently approved a $64 million bond referendum that will fund school repairs and new school buildings. A high school would get major repairs, including heating, air conditioning, roof and plumbing upgrades. Land will be purchased to build a new second high school and land will be purchased on which to build two new elementary schools. An existing elementary school would also get updates and repairs. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or rweil@spartnerships.com.
 
Other upcoming contracting opportunities
 
Detroit buys former casino for public safety headquarters
David BingA building that previously served as a casino in Detroit has been purchased by the City of Detroit for $6.3 million. Officials plan to use the facility as a new headquarters for the police and fire departments. The City Council approved the sale of $100 million in bonds to fund the purchase and renovation. Mayor David Bing (pictured) said the purchase and renovation of the building will allow the city to "establish a consolidated public safety headquarters that is more efficient and effective." The city estimates that the renovation and retrofitting of the 400,000-square-foot former MGM Grand casino building will cost approximately $61 million. It is expected to be finished in the fall of 2012. 
 
California city's grants to help rebuild downtown area
Union City, California, is about to apply $6.35 million in grant funds toward building the eastern phase of its future downtown area. The Intermodal Station District will include 1.2 million square feet of office space, 120,000 square feet of rental space and 1,636 new housing units. The city recently received two grants - $4.45 million from the Transportation for Livable Communities grant program of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and $1.9 million from the Federal Transit Administration (TFA). The FTA grant will be used to construct a bus loop that will circle East Plaza. The new downtown area is expected to become a major transit hub, connecting commuters to local bus lines. Completion of the station is expected in late 2012.
 
County in Texas plans mental health facility, highway expansions
The Mongtomery County (Texas) Commissioners Court has approved the sale of three bonds. Officials say more bonds could be sold before the end of the year to finance courthouse renovations and to build a forensic center in the county. These most recent bonds include:
  • $35.5 million for a 100-bed, secure mental health facility to serve criminal offenders from the Houston region who are committed by courts;
  • $36.1 million for a pass-through toll program to expand three highways, align another and build direct connectors between a state highway and an interstate highway; and
  • $43 million in road bond refinancing, moving adjustable rate bonds from a 2006 bond issue to fixed rate bonds with a lower interest rate. 
 Environmental infrastructure projects funded in Georgia
Phil FoilThree environmental infrastructure projects with a combined price tag of $4.2 million have been approved by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) executive committee. The funds will help pay for water and sewer projects for the City of Dublin, the Nicholson Water Authority in Jackson County and Oconee County. "Financing water, sewer and solid waste projects encourages economic growth and the stewardship of our environment," said GEFA Executive Director Phil Foil (pictured) of the water, sewer and solid waste programs administered by GEFA. The GEFA helps communities with low-interest loans as a way of preparing for economic growth and development. The loans include:
  • City of Dublin - $2.04 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to finance replacing and repairing sanitary sewer line and approximately 50 manholes;
  • Nicholson Water Authority - $700,000 loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to finance new wells and well rehab, replace a water main, storage improvements, install new meters, including reading and billing software and training;
  • Oconee County - $1.53 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to finance replacing sewer pipe, deteriorating manholes and aging pump station to eliminate leaks in the system.
Tennessee county approves bonds for schools, roads, energy projects
The Greene County, Tennessee, Commission has approved the issue of $9.26 million in bonds for school, road and energy projects. One approved resolution calls for the issue of $1.03 million in bonds to expand the cafeteria at West Greene High School, along with the addition of four new classrooms and another set of restrooms. Bonds totaling $8.225 million were approved for issue as well, with $5.5 million of that figure for projects of the Green County Highway Department and $2.68 million for energy-saving projects in some of the county's largest facilities. Much of the anticipated savings will come from upgrading lighting, while other projects include replacing windows in the county office annex. Some of the funds also will be used to bring the courthouse into compliance with fire and safety codes. The funding for the highway department will allow the county to resurface approximately 75 miles of county roads.
 
Washington are airports sell $1.5B in bonds
The sale of $577 million in transportation bonds by Dulles and Reagan National airports led a host of Washington-area airports that sold approximately $1.5 billion in bonds recently. Florida's Miami-Dade County airport issued $503 million in bonds for an expansion at Miami International and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey borrowed $400 million.
 
New Jersey borough will build new two-story firehouse
Glenn SiscoA new firehouse is just around the corner in Kinnelon Borough, New Jersey. The council recently approved a bond ordinance for $900,000 to build the new 80 X 50, two-story facility, probably a steel building, which is cheaper to construct. Mayor Glenn Sisco (pictured), a veteran volunteer fireman, said the costs of the station would be capped at the bond amount and if the bids come in higher than the $900,000, the project will be changed until it fits within the $900,000 budget. "We're not looking for the Taj Mahal," said Sisco. "We're looking for a firehouse." Officials were able to qualify for an $80,000 grant that will be used to demolish the existing firehouse. Applications for a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant were unsuccessful. 
 
Tax extension to help pay for multi-purpose facility in Georgia
A new multi-purpose facility will benefit from a successful election to extend a special purpose local option sales tax in Pulaski County, Georgia. The new tax is expected to generate approximately $7.2 million which will be used for the new multi-purpose facility at the Pulaski County Recreation Department. Other projects that will benefit from the tax proceeds are a new city hall for Hawkinsville and the renovation of the Hawkinsville Opera House.
 
New Hampshire approves 10-year highway plan for state
Some $45 million in Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) bonds will be used to help finance the state of New Hampshire's recently enacted 10-year highway plan. One of the priorities of the bill recently signed into law is replacement of the Memorial Bridge that carries U.S. 1 between Portsmouth and Kittery, which carries a price tag of its own of $30 million. The state is also seeking another $20 million in grant funds from the federal government. Other projects in the 10-year plan include widening of the Spaulding Turnpike north of Dover and I-93 from Salem to Manchester. The state also is expected to add high-speed tolling lanes at the Hampton toll plaza.
 
Indiana city plans $1.6 million in energy-saving projects
The Mishawaka, Indiana, Common Council has approved borrowing $1.6 million from its own local improvement bond bank to institute a variety of energy-saving projects. The largest project will be temperature control equipment for the City Hall and at the Mishawaka Police Station. Nearly 20 other city-owned buildings will have lighting and occupancy sensors installed. 
 
Bonds will help pay for cost of rebuilding Champlain Bridge
Jeb SpauldingRebuilding of the Champlain Bridge is the major impetus of a $14.4 million transportation infrastructure bond sold by the State of Vermont. State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding (pictured) said part of the money will go toward the state's share of rebuilding the bridge, which replaces the former bridge that was condemned and demolished last year. Officials expect the federal government to pick up 80 percent of the cost for the project. The bonds also will help finance rehab work on the interstate bridge in Brattleboro and Putney, and will be used for other bridge projects in Cambridge, Cornwall, Richmond and in the Moretown-Middlesex area.
 
BART funding plan approved for driverless trains
A new funding plan approved by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) board will benefit the new Oakland Airport Connector. The funding includes grants, loans and costs savings to help make up for the $70 million in stimulus funding BART had anticipated but did not receive. The total package includes $20 million in state transportation funds and $5 million in grants from the High-Speed Rail Authority. Another $27 million will be borrowed from the federal government and BART will add $10 million from its own reserves. The Connector will be a driverless three-car train pulled by cables to make the trip from the Coliseum and Oakland Airport to BART Station. It would replace the AirBART buses currently in use. The hope is that the new system will reduce auto traffic near the airport.
 
New Mexico association awarded loan to improve wastewater
The Organ, New Mexico, Water and Sewer Association has been allocated $101,000 in the form of a loan and a grant of $2.99 million to replace existing galvanized, deteriorated and undersized water lines, to install telemetry control system and pressure booster or pressure tanks and to add other improvements to the wastewater system. The funds come from the U.S Department of Agriculture's Rural Development office.
 
El Paso allocated funding for houses made available in El Paso

Maintenance and improvements to more than 6,000 public housing units throughout the city of El Paso will be paid for by $10.3 million in capital improvement funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso will receive the funds and allow the city to offer quality, affordable housing to citizens. The funds can be used for projects that include new roofs, energy-efficient upgrades and replacing old plumbing and electrical systems.
 
Nine Iowa airports land federal grant funding for projects
Nine Iowa airports are in line to receive grant funding from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Bloomfield Municipal Aiport will get $274,589 for runway rehabilitation, the Waterloo Municipal Airport will get $830,000 for snow removal and aircraft deicing equipment. Other airports receiving funding include: Pocahontas Municipal Airport, $156,750; Red Oak Municipal Airport, $50,000; Rockwell City Municipal Airport, $395,124; Sheldon Municipal Airport, $47,986 and Webster City Municipal Airport, $47,500.
 
For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.

 
Where are they now?
 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at editor@spartnerships.com and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Mel Martinez. 
 
Mel MartinezMel Martinez is a former Orange County, Florida, mayor, former president of the Orlando Utilities Commission and a former chairman of the Orlando Housing Authority. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for lieutenant governor in Florida in 1994. Martinez later served on the Governor's Growth Management Study Commission and was named Secretary  of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President George W. Bush. He resigned from HUD to run for the U.S. Senate, a position he held until 2009, when he chose not to seek re-election and became a lobbyist and a partner in an international high tech company. Martinez was recently tabbed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. as chairman of Chase Bank's Florida market and its operations in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
 
Did you miss TGI?
People
 
Warren EvansRalph GodbeeDetroit Police Chief Warren Evans (top left) has resigned and assistant chief Ralph Godbee (top right) will head the department until a new chief is hired. Robert Rizzo, chief administrative officer of Bell, California, has resigned his position, along with Bell Police Chief Randy Adams and Assistant City Administrator Angela Spaccia. One of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) most experienced spies, John Bennett, has been tapped by CIA Director Leon Panetta to be the next head of the National Clandestine Service, replacing Michael Sulick, who is retiring. Neil Pederson (upper middle left) has announced that he will retire next summer from his post as superintendent of the North Carolina's Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Donna Hargens (upper middle right), interim superintendent of the Wake County (North Carolina) Public Schools, isDonna HargensNeil Pederson one of three candidates for the superintendent's slot at New Hanover County Schools in that state, a post vacated by former Superintendent Del Burns and currently held by interim Superintendent Edwin West Jr.  Former Yuma, Tennessee, city administrator Mark Watson (lower middle right) has been hired as Oak Ridge, Tennessee's next city manager. Mount Pleasant, Texas, Superintendent Terry Myers will accept his first school head position outside Texas as the new superintendent of the Clovis, New Mexico, Municipal School District. Robert Ordelheide, a veteran of 30 years with the San Fernando, California, Police Department, the last three as chief, is resigning and will be replaced by 24-year veteran Lt. Tony Ruelas. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will nominate Tani Cantil-Sakauye (lower middle left), an appellate court justice, to be Mark Watsonchief justice of the California Supreme Court, to replace Chief Justice Ronald George, who has announced he will resign Aug. 6, with Acting Provost Phyllis Vroom to become acting president until a new president is hired. Calhoun County, Texas, ISD Larry Nichols has been named lone finalist for the post of superintendent of the Galveston ISD, following the loss of former Superintendent Lynne Cleveland to the top spot at the Little Elm ISD. Jeff Gray has been selected as Mesilla, New Mexico's, new marshal, succeeding the retiring Marcel Jojola. Nicholas Eckert will take over as Mesilla's town clerk and treasurer following the resignation of Juan Fuentes, who left to become finance director for the city of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.Margaret MarshallJay Noren Massachusetts State Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall (bottom right) has announced that she will retire to spend time with her husband, who is ill. Los Angeles schools Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines has announced he plans to step down next spring after having served in that capacity since December 2008.  Fox Valle Technical College in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, has tabbed Chris Matheny, who has been with the college since 2004, to be its vice president for instructional services. Dr. Vicky Smith, currently president of Neosho County, Kansas, Community College, has been named president of the McHenry County College in Minnesota. Two veterans from utility experts will head utility companies in Cental Texas - Larry Weis, general manager of the Turlock Irrigation District in Turlock, California, has been selected as the new general manager for Austin Energy, and Doyle Beneby, current president of Chicago-based Exelon Power and senior vice president of Exelon Generation, will assume the CEO post at San Antonio's CPS Energy. Longtime Clovis Cith Manager Kathy Millison has been named city manager of Santa Rosa, California replacing Jeff Kolin, who left earlier this year to become city manger in Beverly Hills.
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Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists planning 6th Annual Conference
The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists' 6th Annual Conference, featuring the general conference and networking activities, will be held Sept. 8-10 in Orlando at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel at SeaWorld, 6677 Sea Harbor Drive. To register, click here.
 
TxDOT continues offering webinars for small minority businesses
The Texas Department of Transportation's Business Outreach & Program (BOP) Services branch is still conducting its webinars targeting small, minority and women business owners in the field of construction and professional services in Texas.  Only three webinars remaining for the 2010 fiscal year.  The external online seminars topics range from how to become a pre-qualified bidder on TxDOT contracts to online access of bid lettings and contract plans and much more.  Each session aims to provide valuable information to contractors, suppliers and small businesses on how TxDOT operates with external parties, how to better understand processes and procedures and improve opportunities to bid and obtain contracts with TxDOT. Invited parties include potential contractors, subcontractors, supplies, DBEs and any other small businesses. Each free webinar is limited and registration slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis.  More information on each webinar can be found at www.txdot.gov. Questions should be forwarded to TxDOT-BOP-Webinars@dot.state.tx.us or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2 for more information.
 
FEMA grant recipients can attend grants management workshops
Basic Fundamentals of Grants Management Workshops for recipients of FEMA grant funding are being planned as a cooperative effort of FEMA's Grant Programs Directorate and the National Criminal Justice Association. The Grants Management Technical Assistance program provides grants management principles and practices to state, regional, local and tribal jurisdictions.  The next workshop will be held Aug. 24-25 in New York. Basic principles and practices to enhance the ability of FEMA grant recipients to administer grant funding will be addressed. Target audience will include direct recipients such as State Administrative Agencies, Transit Security Grant Program and Port Security Grant Program personnel, Assistance to Firefighter Grant specialists and/or subrecipients such as Urban Areas Initiative personnel. Registration for the workshop is free, but participants are responsible for travel and lodging costs.
 
4th Annual HAZUS conference slated in August in Indianapolis
The 4th Annual HAZUS Conference is slated for Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 23-25, at the Indiana Government Center, South Building in Indianapolis. HAZUS-MH is a risk assessment methodology used to analyze potential losses from natural hazards including floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. HAZUS uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software combined with science, engineering and math modeling to map and display hazard data and the results of damage and economic loss estimates for buildings and infrastructure. It was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under contract with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Federal, state and local government agencies and the private sector can order HAZUS-MH free-of-charge from the FEMA Publication Warehouse. The purpose of this site is to promote HAZUS training and provide quick links to key resources that encourage the use of HAZUS to ensure the safety of the United States. To register, click here.
 
National Forum on Criminal Justice, Public Safety set
The 2010 National Forum on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, sponsored by the National Criminal Justice Association and the Integrated Justice Information System partnered with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, is set for Aug. 1-3 in Fort Myers, Florida. "Navigating Evidence-based Policies and Practices" is the theme of the event. The forum will include leaders from state, tribal and local governments and the private sector seeking to improve community safety. They also will hear about the most effective course of evidence-based policies and practices. Expert panelists will be on hand to discuss criminal justice and public safety, sharing practical solutions that work. Participation in the National Forum is open to any individual who works in the criminal justice or public safety field. To register, click here.
 
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