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Volume 2, Issue 26
October 20, 2010
Economic development has become hot, new national trend

Mary Scott Nabers If ever there was a time when economic development had the attention of elected leaders and public officials, it is now. Almost every city, region and state has invested in economic development outreach. No longer is economic development the responsibility of chambers of commerce or convention and tourism organizations. Public officials are leading economic development efforts aggressively.

 

 All of the activity is good and it certainly makes sense considering the importance of attracting private investment and business expansion.  As tax bases continue to dwindle and funding becomes even more constrained, economic development will become more important than ever.
 

IN THIS ISSUE
Ferry operations allocated funding
University centers get research grants
Upcoming education opportunities
Opportunity of the week
Other contracting opportunities
Where are they now?
People
Calendar of events
Strategic Partnerships, Inc. provides opportunity identification for all 50 states. Click here for more information.
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Rehab, construction slated for ferry operations nationwide
 
Projects in 20 states to benefit from $39 million in federal grant funding
 
Victor MendezBulkhead replacement at the Bayshore Ferry Terminal in New Jersey, rehabilitation of a ferry to relieve congestion on ferry routes connecting San Francisco and Marin County and improvements to the Salem Ferry in Massachusetts to meet traffic needs between Salem and Boston are among the projects that will benefit from $39 million in federal grant money.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced grant funds will go to 20 states to improve ferry service and provide more travel options. 

The Federal  Highway Administration's Ferry Boat Program was designed to fund ferry boats that provide access to areas that lack other means of transportation and where high passenger demand already exists. Existing ferry operations and ongoing capital improvement project will benefit from the funding. 

Some of the larger awards include $2.56 million to the Pelican Ferry terminal renovation project in Alaska, $2.6 million for construction at the Lake Havasu Ferry Terminal Facility in Arizona and $1 million for the rehabilitation of the Staten Island Ferry Maintenance Building in New York.

"The ferry boat program helps fill a transportation gap while at the same time making communities more livable by improving mobility," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez (pictured). The ferry boats in many cases are essential parts of a state's transportation system and make it easier for area residents to get to work and continue with their everyday lives.To see a complete listing of the grant awards, click here and look under "Recent Reports." 

For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.


University centers in 11 states awarded grants

 

Goal is to improve transportation systems throughout country

 

Peter AppelAddressing current transportation needs while training transportation professionals for the next generation is the goal of $18.7 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grants, which have been announced for 11 University Transportation Centers, are expected to allow the centers to use new technologies to help improve transportation systems across the country. The agency's Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) made the awards.

 

RITA Administrator Peter Appel (pictured) said the program for the centers "plays a key role in supporting collaborative research and transportation workforce development that will help us create a truly 21st century transportation system."

 

Among the recipients of the grants is the Infrastructure Technology Institute at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. It will use its $3.3 million grant to extend experimental work in monitoring the health of the infrastructure of rapid transit and commuter railroad structures and continue long-term studies of bridge performance. City University of New York's University Transportation Center garnered a $2.08 million grant to support research, education and technology transfer activities to address the planning and management and future evolution of the region's mature transportation systems in the face of emerging challenges. To view the complete list of projects, click here and look under "Recent Reports." 

 

For information about these and other funding opportunities,
contact Reagan Weil or Richard Hartmann at 512-531-3900.
 
Strategic EdgeSPI Research

Upcoming education opportunities

 

Las Cruces district to seek bids on solar energy production
Herb TorresThe Las Cruces, New Mexico, school district will seek bids on a project to produce solar energy, rather than continuing the licensing agreement previously approved. Herb Torres (pictured), associate superintendent for operations, said school attorneys had been studying the agreement and found "there were enough gray areas" found to reissue any work under a different agreement. The agreement signed provided for an independent company to finance, own and operate a solar energy system that would cost approximately $24 million. Solar panels would be placed on 40 school buildings to generate nearly half of the district's energy from the sun. The district hopes to move the project forward and plans to put the project out for bid within the next two or three months, Torres said.

 

Library bond vote totaling $7 million coming up in New Mexico
Voters in Farmington, New Mexico, will decide a $7 million library bond issue in a November election. If passed, San Juan College would receive $103,000 of the amount and the Farmington Municipal Schools will be allocated $44,000. The college depends on funding from the general obligation library bond voted on every two years for its operational budget. The funds are used to purchase books, subscriptions to research materials and for technology upgrades.  

  

New York's Union College seeking bonds for various campus improvements
Susan SavageElectrical and mechanical upgrades, roof repairs and renovations will be paid for from $38 million in bonds being sought by Union College in Schenectady, New York. Assistance in securing the bonds will be received from the Capital Resource Corp. (CRC), administered by the Schenectady County Industrial Development Agency. Although the college will be responsible for the bond debt, the fees it pays CRC will be reinvested in the local community, according to Schenectady County Legislature Chair Susan E. Savage (pictured). The bond funds will also be used for deferred maintenance issues on several older buildings at Union College, and support renovation of the Social Sciences building early next year and other construction projects on the drawing board.  

 

Farmington school board selects architects for projects
Two architectural firms have been named to develop and design more than $50 million in school improvement projects in Farmington, New Mexico. Among the projects are a new Tibbits Middle School and $25 million in school improvement projects district-wide. One of the firms chosen will be in charge of several projects in the $1 million to $4 million range. Among the projects are new turf for Hutchinson Stadium, restrooms in the Farmington High gym and a library at Animas Elementary. The architect estimates that it will take some 16 months to build the 100,000-square-foot, $33 million new school.

  

Lottery funds result in addition of classrooms for N. Carolina schools
W.D. YarbroughThe Alamance County Board of Commissioners has approved $2.4 million for the Alamance-Burlington School System in Burlington, North Carolina. The funds will be used to construction classroom additions. W.D. Yarbrough (pictured), director of facilities for the school system said Western Alamance Middle School and Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary School will each get four new classrooms as a result of the funding from North Carolina Education Lottery funds. Approximately $4 million in available lottery funding remains that could be used for other school projects.

Montana school district passes $3.5 million construction bond
The Monforton, Montana, school bond issue, for maintenance and construction projects, has passed. The bond amount - $3.5 million - will be used to build an addition to the north side of the school, adding six classrooms and funding other renovations.

Design for W. Des Moines high school overhaul approved by board members
Mark LyonsDesign for the $59.7 million in improvements to the Valley High School in West Des Moines has been approved by the school district board. The first phase of the project will include a $20 million, three-story addition to the school's southwest corner. Bids for that project are expected to be sought in the spring, with construction beginning as early as July. A completion date is expected in November 2013. The original plans were $7.7 million over budget, and board members thus approved a scaled-down proposal that excluded $2.9 million in alternatives. Board member Mark Lyons (pictured) said that although the projects include a large amount of money, all "are well justified." The new addition will house science and family consumer science classrooms, a new kitchen and cafeteria, wrestling room and strength and training room. New tennis courts and a sky bridge connecting the new building to the old one are also planned. The project list also includes a $16 million auditorium and $4 million for renovated classroom support space. Another $20 million will go into renovations to the high school.

Heating, cooling systems to get upgrades in Indiana school district
The Union County school system in Palladium, Indiana, has approved selling $1.48 million in interest-free bonds for energy saving and other improvement projects at the Union County High School and Liberty Elementary. The district will use federal Qualified School Construction Bonds for the projects. Heating and cooling equipment in the elementary school will be replaced and linked with the high school's heat pump system. Other projects include work on the high school auditorium and kitchen. 

 

Illinois school district awarded funding for renewable energy project
Warren RibleyIllinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Warren Ribley (pictured) recently visited Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 in Illinois to announce $447,400 in funding for a renewable energy project. The money will be used to help defray the costs of installation of solar panel systems in four of the district's schools. Ribley said the solar projects "will decrease the district's utility bills and bring us one step closer to breaking our dependence on foreign oil." The four schools where the solar panels will be installed include Cassens Elementary, Goshen Elementary, Liberty Middle School and Worden Elementary. The systems will produce approximately 140,000 kilowatt hours per year. The State Energy Plan is providing more than $100 million in grants statewide. The agency is supporting half of the cost of the project through it allocation.

New Jersey charter schools can apply for construction funding
Some $30 million in federally subsidized construction bonds will be made available to charter schools in New Jersey seeking to either renovate existing structures or build new ones. Charter schools heralded the funding as good news, since they only receive per-pupil operating costs funding from tax dollars and not money for buildings. The bonds are made available through federal Recovery Act funds and charter schools have until Nov. 19 to apply for the funding. There are currently more than 70 charter schools in New Jersey.

  

$11.4 million school building plan gets approval from area's voters
Voters OK'd a scaled-down bond proposal recently that failed last year. The original bond issue, for $29.4 million, was scaled back to $11.4 million and passed. Unlike the previous bond issue that failed, this one did not include new buildings, building additions or expansion. The proposal that passed includes heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, lighting, wall, flooring, ceiling and electrical work in a former auto shop area that will be converted to a computer lab and classroom, the high school media center, the open media center in the elementary school, the middle-high school chorus room, the band room, the auditorium, existing gyms, locker rooms, the mezzanine above the high school gym and the swimming pool. Playground areas will have improved storm drainage installed and additional blacktop and the track will be resurfaced. Construction bids are expected to be sough in February or March of next year with much of the work taking place during the summer months and continuing through 2012.

 

For information about these and other opportunities,

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

 

Did you miss TGI?

Opportunity of the week...
 
Two Louisiana clinics that provide medical services to low-income and uninsured residents and are currently run out of trailers will get permanent buildings soon. A $4.8 million federal grant will provide the funding for the new facilities. Want to know more? Contact Reagan Weil at 512-531-3900 or rweil@spartnerships.com.
 
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Three Virginia public safety programs to share grant funds
Lillian TaylorAlmost $9 million is headed to three Virginia public safety programs. The National Center for State Courts in Williamsburg will be allocated $7.4 million to be used for projects that include the enhancement of the statistical database for state court systems nationwide, a survey of state court criminal appeals processing and an assessment of current procedures. Two new full-time officers will be hired by the Franklin Police Department with the $385,310 allocated to the city for the COPS Hiring Program. And, $1.3 million will go to the Hampton Roads police departments from the Justice Assistance Grants program. The money will be used for hiring and purchase of equipment. Lillian Taylor (pictured), Fiscal Service Manager for the Newport News Police Department, said the funds help departments purchase equipment they might not have been able to purchase on their own because of "tight fiscal conditions."

Ohio city plans capital spending plan for next five years
Capital improvements worth $13.4 million over the next five years in Springboro, Ohio, will cover everything from paving roads to buying equipment for the municipal golf course. The city council recently approved a capital improvement plan that includes more than $500,000 for street paving and $131,000 for the city-owned golf course. Also in the plan is $1.5 million for vehicles and equipment, including new police cruisers. Some $180,000 in solar panels will be installed on park buildings and $55,000 will be spent on playground equipment at North Park.

Tinley Park plans sale of bonds for three major projects within city
Michael BettenhausenApproximately $11.7 million in bonds will be sold by the Village of Tinley Park, Illinois, to help defray the costs of three major projects. Some $2 million of the total will be used for sewer projects, another $5.2 million will be the village's share of a new 80th Avenue Metra train station, while $4.5 million will help expand the Tinley Park Convention Center. The bond issue is expected in November with the bond sale in December. Noting lower interest rates, Trustee Michael Bettenhausen (pictured) said now is the time to sell bonds. "The debt service and the obligation for the bond issues is not on the property owners," he said. 

County seeking bids for new building to house courts, sheriff
The Westmoreland (Virginia) County Board of Supervisors has hired an architect to prepare plans and specs for bids for a new facility. The new building would house the sheriff's office and the county courts. The two-story, 42,000-square-foot facility would cost between $8 million and $12 million. Administrators are hoping to get the bid solicitation out soon and then determine from that how to finance the project. In addition to the current needs, the bid documents are also expected to include an additional 10,000 square feet of unfinished space for a future courtroom.

Five projects in Maricopa hope to be jump-started after standards manual writtten
Carl DiedrichOfficials in Maricopa, Arizona, are planning a design standards manual they are hopeful will light a fire under five city projects - an aquatics/multigenerational center, a city hall complex, a regional sports complex, a main library and public works yard. "Either the aquatics/multigenerational center or regional sports facility will be the project the city looks at moving first on," said Council member Carl Diedrich (pictured). The manual will help create consistency in design across all the facilities, which cannot all be built at once. It will then be up to the council to prioritize the projects. In March, the council approved selling $20 million of the $65 million in bonding authority approved by voters for parks, recreation and the library. The sports complex will cost approximately $20 million and include baseball, soccer and football fields. The aquatic center, a $16.5 million project, will be at least 50,000 square feet. Initial plans are for the aquatic center construction to start before the current fiscal year ends in June of next year. The sports complex has a FY 2011-12 proposed start date and the city government complex is expected to be under construction in FY 2012-13. 

Alamogordo lists prioritized improvement projects for 2012-2016
In Alamogordo, New Mexico, officials have approved a capital improvement plan for 2012-2016 and have given five projects top priority relative to infrastructure. They include (in order of priority): completion of the design phase for upgrades to the wastewater treatment facility; reclaimed water distribution and storage; the engineering and design phase of a desalination plant; improvements at the Recreation Center pool, including solar panels and a new slide; and Department of Public Safety radio equipment.
 
Mississippi ferry boat terminal will be rebuilt after storm damage
George SchloegelIn Gulfport, Mississippi, the Ship Island ferry boat terminal project has been awarded a grant of $223,000 to rebuild. With funds from the Federal Highway Administration, the terminal destroyed during Hurricane Katrina has been idle. Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel called the project "a very important step for the harbor and the park, and for the city." Design of the new terminal has already begun and drawings should be competed in 90 days. At that time, bids for construction will be sought. 
 
Topeka Housing Authority awarded $10 million in Recovery funding
A $10 million allocation in Recovery Act funding has been awarded to the Topeka (Kansas) Housing Authority to help construct green, affordable housing. This funding will be combined with a $3.65 million HUD grant to construct Echo Ridge, a green, affordable housing community. The apartments in the complex will feature Energy Star appliances and lighting, low-flow water fixtures, triple insulated windows, additional wall and ceiling insulation and reflective roofing. Recycled materials will be used throughout the units. Landscaping will provide summer shade and many sidewalks, driveways and parking areas will help reduce runoff. There will be a number of garden areas. Construction is expected to begin this month. 
 
$22 million grant goes to Port of Miami for upgrades
Bill JohnsonUpgrades and restoration of rail service between the Port of Miami and the Florida East Coast Rail Yard in Hialeah will be paid for in part by a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. "The federal investment in our port recognizes Miami's expanding role in international trade and the potential for greatly increasing our cargo business in coming years," said Port of Miami Director Bill Johnson (pictured). The $610 million port tunnel is slated for completion in 2014, connecting the port to Interstate 395 and helping to alleviate traffic jams inside the port and through downtown streets, where an estimated 5,500 trucks pass on their way in and out of the port every day. The $610 million port tunnel is expected to be completed in 2014. Johnson said another component of the project will be deepening the water to 50 feet to accommodate bigger cargo vessels.

San Francisco planning rehabilitation of Pier 70 for development
A $600 million rehabilitation of nearly 70 acres of waterfront known as the Pier 70 project is being plotted by the City of San Francisco. The development will include 3 million square feet of new buildings and rehabilitation of 700,000 square feet of historic buildings. It will also include parking, open space and infrastructure. The project could take nearly 20 years to compete, with a start date no earlier than 2014 and a price tag of approximately $665 million. A variety of funding sources will be used to finance the project, from federal historic and new market tax credits to property tax-increment financing. Only approximately $310 million is expected to come from public financing.

Virginia supercomputer, renovations to be paid for with federal stimulus funding
Jane LubchencoA supercomputer center expected to open in Fairmont, West Virginia, next fall is being financed with more than $27.6 million in federal stimulus funds. "Demands for more detailed climate and weather information continue to grow from all sectors of society, so NOAA must invest in technology now to meet future needs," said Jane Lubchenco (pictured), administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She said the additional computing power at the center will allow NOAA to strengthen its ability to provide correct information at crucial times. The supercomputer will take up more than 54,000 square feet at the Fairmont tech park. Renovations will begin in January of next year. The new computer is expected to improve hurricane and other severe weather forecasts. The funding will include electrical, plumbing, mechanical and other improvements.

Parish officials request $49M in bonds to be sold by Bond Commission
Officials in the Terrebonne Parish of Louisiana have requested that the Louisiana Bond Commission approve the sale of $49 million on bonds for levee construction. The bonds would be paid back over 25 years, using the parish-wide one-quarter-cent sales tax.

Cameras to be installed in Ohio as part of pilot project in Columbus
Michael ColemanA pilot project has been approved in Columbus, Ohio, that will lead to the installation of 114 security cameras in five neighborhoods. The cost of the project is between $2 million and $2.5 million. "These cameras are not a silver bullet to end crime in the City of Columbus," said Mayor Michael Coleman (pictured). "They will be another tool officers can use to potentially prevent crimes before they happen and solve crimes after they happen." The areas where the cameras will be installed were chosen based on requests of neighborhood leaders and residents and from crime analysts and police officers. The cameras could be installed as early as next summer. The cameras will feed into city hall and security staff will monitor them and alert police to criminal activity. Police will also be able to use the videos as evidence.
 
New fire headquarters approved for city in Virginia
Refinancing existing loans and taking out additional loans will allow the city of Danville, Virginia, to build a modern fire headquarters that will also double as the city's Emergency Operations Center. The city has outgrown its nearly 85-year-old existing fire house. Officials are working to sign an architect and finalize a site for the new building. A total of $6 million has been budgeted for the project.
 
Los Angeles to use federal loan for planned light-rail project
Antonio VillaraigosaThe City of Los Angeles will move forward with its plans for a light-rail project to run from the Crenshaw district to a station near Los Angeles International Airport thanks to a $546 million federal loan. LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (pictured) called the loan "a substantial down payment" on the project, as it will pay for more than one-third of the planning and construction costs for the project, which carries a total price tag of $1.4 billion. The proposal includes approximately 8.5 miles from Exposition and Crenshaw to the Green Line Station at Aviation Blvd. near LAX.


For information about these and other 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 Mary Case.

Mary CaseMary Case earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She served as an airport security coordinator, assistant superintendent of airfield and grounds and an operations specialist for George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston before joining the Houston Airport System in 1987. She held the top post for seven years at Houston's oldest airfield, Ellington Airport, before being named general manager of Houston's William P. Hobby Airport in 2005. Her aviation career, which includes being a private pilot, spans 28 years. Case was recently named general manager for George Bush Intercontinental Airport. She is the first person to have headed all three airports owned and operated by the City of Houston.

 

Results oriented procurement

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Thomas WilbertDavid Wain CoonBruce StedmanThomas Wilbert (top left), police chief and 23-year veteran of the East Lansing, Michigan, Police Department, has been named police chief for the city of New Braunfels, Texas, where on Nov. 8, he will replace former Chief Ron Everett, who retired in April. David Wain Coon (top center), who has served as president of Evergreen College in San Jose, California, since 2005, was recently named superintendent/president of the College of Marin in Kenfield, California. Alhambra, California, Fire Chief Bruce Stedman (top right) is resigning his post after more than 30 years with the department to accept the fire chief position in Arlington, Washington. Richard Nelson, a former county official in Davis County, a former Workforce Services regional director and current city manager of Payson, was recently named city administrator for the city of Alpine, Utah, replacing Ted Stillman, who recently retired. Milton, Wisconsin, Police Chief Jerry Schuetz, who has served in that position since 2008, and has been interim city administrator and police chief since Peter FosKaya HendersonMichelle RheeAdministrator Todd Schmidt left in September to take another job, has been offered the job of city administrator full-time. Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee (upper middle left) has stepped down from the position she has held for more than three years and has been replaced during the interim by Deputy Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (upper middle center), a longtime aide. The University of Texas at Tyler Provost and Executive Vice President Peter J. Fos (upper middle right) is one of three finalists under consideration for president of the University of Louisiana Monroe and will undergo interviews this week along with other finalists Nick J. Bruno, vice president for business and finance for the University of Louisiana System and Thomas F. Moore, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Winthrop University. Christopher Channel, mayor of Hays, Kansas, has been hired as the Valley Falls, Kansas, city administrator, replacing former City Administrator Terry Urban, who is retiring. Teresa Everett, former Deputy Chief of Training for the Joe JohnBill VelascoGary WordRochester, New York, Fire Department, has become one of the few female fire chiefs in Georgia, being sworn in as the first female chief of the College Park Fire Department. Joe John (lower middle left), a former judge on the state Court of Appeals in North Carolina, has been named interim lab director at the North Caroline State Bureau of Investigation, after former Court of Appeals Judge Gerald Arnold declined the job. Dallas insurance executive Bill Velasco (lower middle center) has been re-elected chair of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board of directors. Gary L. Word (lower middle right), city manager of the South Florida town of Surfside, will bring some 30 years of municipal government experience to his new position as city manager of Green Cove Springs, Florida. Grand Island, Nebraska, city administrator Jeff Pederson will leave that post to become city manager of Paducah, Kentucky. San Rafael, California, City Manager Ken Nordhoff has agreed to become the new city manager of Walnut Creek, California, replacing retiring City Manager Gary Pokorny, effective Dec. 1. B. Kaye Walter (lower left), executive vice president and chief learning officer at Valencia Donald CameronRobert NeelyB. Kaye WalterCommunity College in Florida, has agreed to become chancellor at Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. Robert Neely (lower middle), associate provost and associate vice president for research at Eastern Michigan University, has been selected as Texas Woman's University's next provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective Jan. 2, 2011, succeeding former TWU Provost Kay Clayton, who left the position last spring due to health concerns. Ending a 30-year career with Guilford Technical Community College in North Carolina, Dr. Donald W. Cameron (lower right) has announced he will retire, effective July 1, 2011. Retired law enforcement veteran Ricky Baldwin has been hired to be Brookneal, Virginia's next police chief, bringing more than 30 years experience to the position. Michael A. Hart, one of six finalists, was recently named city manager of Davison, Michigan, succeeding Dale Martin, who was fired. Jeffery Simpson, who most recently served as battalion chief of the Hanover County FIRE/EMS Department in Virginia, has been named fire chief for the city of Salisbury, Maryland.

 

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Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The State & Local Government Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to editor@spartnerships.com.
 
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Higher education government relations conference slated in December
The 2010 Higher Education Government Relations Conference is slated for Wednesday through Friday, Dec. 1-3, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas. The conference will provide policy and practice insight on delivering results and building public support for higher education through a focus on partnerships, productivity and public engagement. Among the topics for the conference are: Advancing the Productivity Agenda, Effective Community and Legislative Relations, Third-Party Advocacy Strategies, Navigating State Lobbying Laws Strategic Messaging, Washington Update and 2010 Election Review and Implications. Speaker for the opening general session on Wednesday will be Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of The University of Texas System. Dr. Raymund Peredes, Texas commissioner of higher education, will speak at the Thursday morning session along with Keith Yehle, director of federal relations for the University of Kansas. To view the complete agenda and to view other speakers and their topics, click here. To register, click here. The conference is a partnership of the associations: the American Association of Community Colleges, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

SCUP planning annual regional conference for Oct. 25-27
The North Central region of the Society for College and University Planning will host the annual regional conference on Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 25-27, at the Kingsgate Marriott on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Theme for this year's event is "2020 Vision: Planning for the Future." The conference will explore current practices and influences in higher education planning, future themes, challenges and strategies affecting institutions and how these will support informed decision-making, policy development, research, scholarship, the marketplace, capital investment, campus development and institutional mission. For more information and the agenda, click here. For a registration form, click here.

TxDOT announces three Small Business Briefing conferences 
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach and Program (BOP) Services has announced three upcoming FY 2011 Small Business Briefing conferences. A  Nov. 10 conference is set this year in Beaumont, an April 20, 2011, conference is slated in Fort Worth and a July 20, 2011, conference is planned for San Antonio. The conference goal is to provide small and minority-owned business communities an opportunity to learn more about contracting opportunities with TxDOT.  Information will be available to help them do business with the agency and the State of Texas.  The sessions not only allow small businesses to be introduced to TxDOT and other state agencies, but also allow them to learn more about the economic development opportunities in their regions.  It also gives agencies a chance to show the myriad of prospects available for small and minority businesses in the state. For more information and to register, click here or call 512.866.480.2519, Option 2.

TxDOT Business Outreach & Program Services hosts webinars 
In fiscal year 2010, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Business Outreach & Program (BOP) Services implemented a series of webinars offering technical business development opportunities to small, minority and women business- in the field of construction and professional services in the state of Texas. The webinar series topics ranged from how to become a pre-qualified bidder on TxDOT contracts, TxDOT Plans Online, How to Market Your Business To Prime Contractors, Construction Industry Bonding and much more. Each session's goal was to provide valuable information to contractors, suppliers, and small businesses on how TxDOT to do business with TxDOT, how to increase business capacity and improve opportunities to bid and obtain contracts with TxDOT. The final 2010 webinars concluded in August, but the 2011 fiscal year webinar series planning is under way and will be announced later in the 2010 calendar year. Each free Webinar is limited and registration slots are on a first-come-first-serve basis. More information on each webinar can be found here. Questions should be forwarded to TxDOT-BOP-Webinars@dot.state.tx.us or call 1.866.480.2518, Option 2 for more information.

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