Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 36December 31, 2013
California schools find secret to financial success

California school districts are building new schools, expanding campuses and modernizing classrooms with cutting-edge technology. And, they're keeping projects within budget and finishing them ahead of schedule. So what's the secret to success in Golden State education?


Many California schools rely on a growing trend in project delivery called "lease-leaseback." There is no competitive bid process involved in lease-leaseback. Instead, school districts select a private developer, who they work with through each stage of the project.


From the design phase through planning operation and maintenance, the district and developer coordinate each step of the process together.  




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Latest EB-5 Regional Center in Laredo
University plans $66M in projects
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
News about P3s
Where are they now?
Check out our blog!
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events

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Latest EB-5 Regional Center will be located in Laredo


Partnership will match foreign investors with job-creating projects, development

Carlos VillarrealThe latest EB-5 regional center aimed at attracting foreign investment funds to a community through a public-private partnership is located in Laredo, Texas. The city of Laredo and Civitas Capital Group have partnered to create the Laredo Regional Center.


The EB-5 program allows foreign investors who invest in business that benefits the United States' economy and creates at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers. The amount of the investment required is $1 million. However, that amount can be reduced to $500,000 if it is made in a rural area or an area of high unemployment. Investors can earn visas for themselves and their immediate families by investing through a Regional Center such as the one now in Laredo.


These centers accept EB-5 capital for economic development in the United States. There are close to 250 EB-5 Regional Centers in more than three-dozen states and two territories. The investor program is attracting capital from Asia and other areas of the world. In Fiscal Year 2012, more than 7,400 EB-5 visas were issued as a result of these investments.


Officials in the Laredo area are hopeful these foreign investments will result in economic development and employment opportunities. Laredo City Manager Carlos Villarreal (pictured) said it has been a long-term goal of the city to seek outside investors. "It is critical to maintain the vitality of our economy and ensure that our citizens have diverse employment opportunities," he said. Villarreal said the city's location - at the southern tip of Interstate 35 and connecting NAFTA and Eagle Ford Shale crossroads between major markets in the United States, Canada and Mexico - "makes Laredo a very compelling place to invest and conduct business."


The agreement between the city and Civitas was approved in November of last year and was awaiting federal approval. Civitas, which has a division dedicated to EB-5 funds, already manages several Regional Centers in this country that have already or will soon fund projects that will create thousands of jobs. The Regional Center's responsibility is for matching EB-5 capital to projects in the Laredo area.


University of S. Dakota plans for $66M in construction


Regents approve major construction projects, including new 6,000-seat arena

David HerbsterConstruction will begin soon on structures valued at $66 million on the campus of the University of South Dakota. Regents recently approved the projects, chief among them a new 6,000-seat arena for basketball and volleyball. The USD athletic program will have to come up with an additional $9.5 million between now and what is hoped will be a spring groundbreaking.


In addition to the arena, the university will also build an outdoor facility for soccer and track and a new science, health and research lab.


USD Athletic Director David Herbster (pictured) said the athletic program will have to continue toward its $9.5 million goal. He said the Board of Regents approved construction based on the entire funding model. "We had to issue the bonds, but couldn't unless the model was in place," he said. Design and development plans are due in mid-January and then construction will begin. "What needs to be done when will determine when we start."


Preliminary plans for the new arena and outdoor track and soccer complex were approved in October of last year. The cost at that time was estimated at $48 million, based on a below-ground arena. Further study revealed that plan would not work. Herbster said that the proposal would require digging 13 feet below the water table, which would significantly increase the costs.


A new design of the arena and soccer and track facility had a price tag of $53.6 million and the new health and research lab was redesigned at a value of $12.6 million. What originally was intended to be a three-story building now will be one story. Herbster said the timeline for construction of the projects is 20 months, with the new arena ready for use in 2016.


Contracting Opportunities

Upcoming education opportunities


Portland to buy commercial building for new school facility

Emanuel CaulkA former Goodwill Industries building in Portland, Maine, will be purchased and renovated by the Portland City Council to serve as a new school facility in the downtown area. City officials plan to raise $3.6 million toward the project. Portland Public Schools will relocate its central office, West Program for students with emotional disabilities and mental health diagnoses and the Multilingual and Multicultural Center to the site. Portland Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk (pictured) said the building was of interest to the district because of its convenient location for participants in those programs. "It's really about ensuring our most fragile learners and our adult learners have access to a 21st century learning environment and some stability," he said. The former Goodwill Industries building is a 50,000-square-foot, three-story building with 50 parking spaces. Cost to buy the building is about $2.7 million, with an additional $850,000 to $900,000 in legal, administrative and renovation costs. The money to pay for the project will come from bonds, leftover proceeds from previous property sales and the current capital improvement budget.


Utah school district to use Department of Defense funds for new school

The Toole (Utah) School District will take advantage of $13.2 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Defense to build a new high school to replace an old school at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground. The school district will put up $2.7 million in matching funds toward the $15.9 million project. The Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment has a program aimed at helping public schools on military bases. Special priority status is given to schools with the most serious capacity or facility needs. The current Dugway school was built in 1959 and does not have a cafeteria, requiring students to walk to the elementary school for lunch. Most of the students of the school live on the base. The school plans to hold community meetings to gain input regarding the new school's design.


New Jersey schools will share $93 million for school construction projects

Kip BatemanSchool construction costs of $507 million will be covered by a recent award from the New Jersey Department of Education. Four school districts in Central New Jersey counties will share $93.75 million in state aid of a total of $507.7 million awarded to 331 school districts and 1,538 projects throughout the state. "This funding will go a long way in giving local school districts the means needed to provide safe, modern facilities for all students," said State Sen. Kip Bateman (pictured). The senator said the grants will provide for efficient, state-of-the-art facilities that will improve the learning environment for students. Grants to help fund 149 projects in 21 school districts in the amount of $27 million were approved for Middlesex County. Some of the grant recipients include Piscataway with $4.39 million and South River at $2.76 million. Somerset County schools will share $21.1 million to fund 74 projects in 15 districts. Among the recipients are Franklin receiving $6.61 million and Warren receiving $2.05 million. In Hunterdon County, $12.7 million was awarded for 56 projects in 19 districts. Among the recipients are $3.06 million in North Hunterdon and Delaware Valley getting $1.93 million. A total of 11 school districts in Union County will share $32.9 million for 103 projects Roselle will get $7.93 million and Rahway will get $232,466, with $7.52 million going to Westfield. The grants are to be used to address health and safety issues, overcrowding and other critical needs. Among the projects will be those dealing with building upgrades, roof and window repairs, code issues, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, security systems and hazardous materials abatement.


University in Kansas seeking bids for HVAC, Lab Hood systems

Pittsburg State University in Kansas is seeking bids for a new HVAC and Lab Hood Systems. The project provides upgrades to the existing HVAC system and interior finish requirements to facilitate the mechanical system renovation. The project will install a new air handling and laboratory exhaust air system that will eliminate the recirculating air system currently in place. All existing auxiliary air fume hoods will be removed and replaced with new high performance VAV fume hood. Centralized demand controlled ventilation and a new emergency generator are alternate designs. A total of more than $3.7 million has been budgeted for the project.


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Minnesota city approves $100 million in public improvement projects

Tom DankertA five-year plan to spend $100 million on public improvements was recently approved by the Austin, Minnesota, City Council. Officials note that about $2.12 million for the projects will come from local property tax receipts. Another $10.1 million will come from the local sales tax. Finance Director Tom Dankert (pictured) said $55.1 million of the funding will come from grants, $26.2 million of which would be state and federal funds. The state's Department of Natural Resources also will put in $4 million from bonding bills. Some fees paid by users will also be dedicated for projects, such as the Waste Water Treatment Plant fund. Some of the projects will include improvements to streets, purchase of new police vehicles and bike trail expansions. Dankert said projects will not begin unless funding is available for them. "Just because it's in the plan doesn't necessarily mean it will be done," Dankert said, pointing out that if the grant funds are not made available, the projects will be put on the shelf until funding is available. City Council members plan to review and update the plan every year.


Marin County officials approve funds for traffic improvement proposal

Officials in Marin County, California, have voted to study various suggestions that will affect traffic congestion while providing better pedestrian, bike and other improvements near San Rafael's civic center. The final design work and construction costs are expected to be about $2.8 million. About $650,000 of that total will come from federal grants. Planned improvements include a traffic circle in front of Marin Center at Memorial, Civic Center and Peter Behr drives that are geared toward improving traffic safety. Among the plans are pedestrian and bicycle facilities linking a new SMART train station to a paved farmer's market site. It will also include landscaping, signs and lighting. The concept that is being supported would change from the current separate bicycle and pedestrian paths along the west side of Civic Center Drive to instead include provisions for new sidewalks, bike lanes, two-way bike path, landscaping, enhanced pedestrian safety improvements and improved bus transit stops. Now that the concept has been approved, detail designs can be drawn and environmental studies begun. Construction could begin as early as next winter.


City in Minnesota approves new $1.78 million corridor improvement project

Terry WotzkaA $1.78 million project that will provide a new corridor through Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, has been approved by the city council. The project will connect Summit Avenue to create a new north-south corridor through the city. Efforts already have been made to mitigate any environmental impact the project might have on the area, with the corridor passing through a section of wetland. Those efforts included storm water improvements, a new snowplowing and ice collection policy and a culvert so wildlife can pass under the road. A total of $1.53 million of the $1.78 million project will be paid for by Municipal State Aid. The remainder of the costs will come from the water fund, franchise fee and storm utility fee funds. The next stage of the project will be to send the plans to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for review. City Engineer Terry Wotzka (pictured) said once the city receives approval, the project will be advertised for bids. Officials are hopeful the project can begin construction by April 2014, with a completion date expected by the end of September.


Anchorage seeking $652 million in state funds for capital projects

Assemblymen in Anchorage are putting together their wish list of projects they are hoping the Alaska Legislature will help fund when it meets next month. Even as the state is expecting a drop in revenues, Anchorage city officials have said they will be asking lawmakers for $652 million for the next year. The list is long - more than 80 pages worth of projects. Included in the funding requests are $250 million for the Port of Anchorage expansion program, $25 million for a new building for the Department of Health and Human Services, $10 million in upgrades and repairs to the Z.J. Loussac Public Library, $12.5 million for improvements to Spenard Road and $12.2 million for a project that would result in the relocation of the Mulcahy Stadium and reworking its parking lot. Officials ranked their top project as the Port of Anchorage project. The project has been slowed by cost overruns and construction problems. The 6,000-foot expansion, originally carrying a price tag of $271 million has since seen the cost increase to more than $1 billion. A new project management team is being sought for the project.


Kansas officials to ask state for funding for two prison cell blocks

Scott SchultzFunding for two new prison cell blocks for the state prison in El Dorado, Kansas, will be sought from state lawmakers by prison officials. The two new cell blocks would include 512 beds at the El Dorado Correctional Facility. The annual operating cost for the additional cell blocks would be about $8.3 million. If the two new cell blocks are not funded, prison officials say the state could have to start housing inmates in other states or lease space in county jails, which would likely cost more than building the new cell blocks over time. Each cell block would include 128 cells and officials would like to see a Jan. 1, 2017, opening date for the first block and the second one coming online 18 months later. With the inmate population expected to surpass 10,000 in 2019, Sentencing Commission Director Scott Schultz (pictured) noted that one reason for the increase in the inmate population is the result of new laws that require a minimum 25-year incarceration for sexual abuse of a victim under age 14, before the perpetrator is considered for parole. Schultz said that has led to about 70 more inmates per year being added to the prison system. 


Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • CACI Federal won a contract worth up to $8.4 million from the U.S. Navy to provide functional, technical professional, analytical and administrative support services in support of the Navy's Enterprise Resource Planning system.
  • Peacock Construction Company won a $1.265 million contract from the Harlingen (Texas) Independent School District to renovate the Harlingen High School kitchen, including expansion of the kitchen area and installation of a new canopy.
  • EnviroSmart won an $8.5 million, five-year maintenance contract from Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, managed by the Forest Service of the USDA, for maintenance of facilities, grounds, roads and trails, solid waste removal and water-wastewater services.
  • English Construction Company and Wendel Engineering won a $24.53 million contract from the town of Strasburg, Virginia, to building necessary upgrades to Strasburg's wastewater treatment plant and to construct a new facility for the town's Public Works Department.
  • Wisenbaker Fix & Associates won a contract from the Tyler (Texas) City Council for the construction phase for the Lake Tyler Dam Repair project.
  • Bremcor won a contract worth up to $18.9 million from the U.S. Navy for base operation support services at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
  • Stevens Institute of Technology was awarded a $60 million research contract by the U.S. Department of Defense that will help launch 11 long-term research projects involving national security, through the school's Systems Engineering Research Center.
  • Global Resource Solutions won a contract worth up to $1.4 million from the U.S. Air Force for professional, administrative and management support services.
  • S&S Building and Development was awarded a tentative contract from the city of Mebane, North Carolina, for $2,105,864 for the construction of the South Side Fire Station, which includes design and construction of the building, bidding costs, construction administration and special inspections. The contract has an option for construction of a photovoltaic electrical system, or solar panels, for an additional $72,300, which was approved by the council.
  • Q&D Construction won a contract for $9,165,013 by the city of Sparks, Nevada, to construct Phase 1 of the North Truckee Drain Realignment Project. 
  • Hamilton Pacific Chamberlain won a contract worth up to $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for construction of structures and facilities.
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News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Five teams respond to RFQ for Illinois portion of Illiana Expressway

Ann SchneiderFive teams have responded to a request for qualifications (RFQ) to design, build and operate the state of Illinois' portion of the Illiana Expressway. The RFQ was issued by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and drew responses from several firms already involved in public-private partnerships involving the Indiana Toll Road and Chicago Skyway. IDOT Secretary Ann Schneider (pictured) said the department is pleased with the level of interest in the project. She said the teams responding to the RFQ "see this project as a worthwhile investment and a benefit for the regional economy." The Indiana Department of Transportation in November issued a similar RFQ for the 12-mile Indiana portion of the expressway, which are due in early January 2014. The project is a 47-mile stretch of highway with a cost of approximately $1.3 billion and will be operated as a toll road. Transportation officials in both states are hoping that the private partners can provide up-front money that will be used to get the project started. The two transportation departments would provide incentives with a payment to the investment team once it reaches a milestone in construction. After that point, annual "availability" payments will be made. Once all responses are received by IDOT, officials hope to name the top three or four teams, all of which will be asked to respond to a request for proposals. Indiana's transportation officials are structuring a similar process. Among equity investors that are a part of the Illinois bid teams are Cintra Infraestructuras, S.A.; SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc.; and Walsh Investors LLC.


Florida city looking to P3 engagements to help with city building

Officials in Dunedin, Florida, are exploring the use of public-private partnerships to help provide for a new Municipal Services Building. The city has long been short on space for municipal services and short on revenue to do anything about it. But now, city officials say they need 19,000 square feet of additional space. What followed was the purchase of a former church building where a new city hall and government center would be built. Those needs changed because there are now fewer employees, so the city is now looking at building an annex and not a new building. It would be an extension on the Technical Services Building and replace the Municipal Services building. A request for proposals will soon be issued to see what plans developers can propose. The estimated cost of the total project is $5.1 million, and could be paid for by borrowing and creative financing such as a public-private partnership which leverages city assets. The goal would be a proposal such as maybe a lease-back proposition.


Florida zoo will be using public-private partnership to build new exhibit area

Joe ParisiA public-private partnership is leading to construction of a new exhibit at the Dane County, Wisconsin, Henry Vilas Zoo. The project, called Arctic Passage, is expected to begin next spring and will involve the county and private partners. The project represents the largest expansion in the zoo's more than 100-year history. "This world-class exhibit will not only enhance one of the region's premiere destinations for families," said County Executive Joe Parisi (pictured), "it will provide important education on the impact climate change has had on the threatened polar bear population and our planet." A $9.4 million contract will be awarded to JP Cullen to build the exhibit and an indoor restaurant. The project will provide a new and more expansive habitat for polar bears with an underwater viewing area. It will include a new habitat for grizzly bears as well. The whole project is expected to cost $10.5 million, with the county providing $4.38 million of the design and construction costs. Friends of the Henry Vilas Zoo have raised $3.6 million toward the project and are also charged with raising the remaining $1 million needed. The county will also fund the $1.6 million for design and construction of the indoor dining area. 


Research Analysts

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 and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Rachel Haot.


Rachel HaotRachel Haot (pictured) has a long record of successes in both the public and private sectors relating to technology. After earning a bachelor's degree from New York University, Haot served as a policy intern for five months in late 2002 and early 2003 for New York City Council member Alan J. Gerson. She then served two other internships, a four-month stint as a development intern for the EastWest Institute in 2004, followed by a four-month political internship with the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in 2005. Haot next was a business developer for Lime Wire LLC from 2005 to 2006 and followed that engagement as a principal in Upward from 2008 to 2010. The technology expert was founded and chief executive officer for GroundReport, a citizen journalism platform in New York City from 2006 to 2010 and became marketing and communications consultant for Daylife, a digital strategy consultancy, from 2008 to 2010. Haot shared her knowledge of technology as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School from 2010 to 2011, and in January 2011 was chosen as chief digital officer for the city of New York. She is credited with setting the standard for how municipal governments can engage its constituents through digital platforms, making New York a digital model for cities nationwide. New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the appointment of Haot as the state's new deputy secretary for technology. 


Gemini Global Group



Anne Marie GauraStephanie O'MalleyRodney BowlerAnne Marie Gaura (top left), current interim director of engineering and public works for Schaumburg, Illinois, will become the next city manager for the city of DeKalb, where she will replace interim city manager Rudy Espiritu on Jan. 21, 2014. Stephanie O'Malley (top center), deputy chief of staff to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and a former city clerk, has been named the city's manager of safety and will provide civilian oversight of the city's police, fire and sheriff's departments. Rodney Bowler (top right), assistant superintendent for administrative services in the Henry County (Georgia) Schools since 2011, has been chosen as the school system's next superintendent, replacing outgoing superintendent Dr. Ethan Hildreth, who is retiring. Chris Cole, airport operations officer at the Albuquerque International Sunport in New Mexico, has been named the next airport manager for the city of Steamboat Springs and will begin his charge at Bob Adams Field on Jan. 6, 2014. Julie O'Connell, Human Resources and Civil Service Director for the city of New Braunfels, Texas, is leaving to become head of Human Resources for the city of Huntsville, Texas. Maureen Tobin, who has worked more than six years in the City of Morgan Hill (California) Community Services Department, has been named the city's new Communications and Engagement Manager, where she will be responsible for overseeing the city's community engagement, public information and internal Scott Wyatt Hyeok Kim Jeanine Ward-Roof communications efforts. Scott Wyatt (bottom right), president of Snow College, has been chosen as the 16th president of Southern Utah University, replacing Michael Benson, who is leaving for the job as president of Eastern Kentucky University in April. Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray named Hyeok Kim (bottom center), executive director of the Interim Community Development Association in the Chinatown/International District, as his deputy mayor for external affairs and will serve as Murray's chief liaison with Seattle communities and the region. Jeanine Ward-Roof (bottom left), dean of students at Florida State University since 2006, has been chosen the next vice president for Student Affairs at Ferris State University, and will begin her new job on Feb. 17, 2014. Richard W. "Rick" Myers, a 35-year veteran lawman who has served as police chief in Colorado Springs and as interim chief in Sanford, Florida, has been tapped to become the new chief of police for the city of Newport News. Steve Lohr, Chief of Operations for the Montgomery County, Maryland, Fire Department since 2008 who has been serving as interim fire chief since Fire Chief Richard Bowers left for Fairfax County's fire chief position, has been named chief. Mellody Matthes, assistant superintendent of the Tukwila School District in Washington and a veteran educator of 25 years, has been named the new human resources director for the city of Redmond, Washington.


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Opportunity of the week...

Bids for subcontracting work are being sought for a redevelopment project in Tennessee that will provide an urban hub that brings students, health care providers and consumers, shoppers and residents together. The general contracting firm for the project indicates the bid process for subcontractors should take two to three months. Subcontracting work will include everything from electrical systems to plumbing. A 1.5 million-square-foot building will be redeveloped to include more than 250 apartments, retail space and health care and education tenants. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or contact us via email at


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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 Government Contracting 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
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NAICU plans annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in February

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities will hold its annual meeting Feb. 2-5, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The theme for this year's meeting is Securing Our Future: "Capitol Conversations." Among the topics for the sessions are student aid funding and higher education tax benefits, campus-based aid, key federal issues and emerging ideas, student debt and more. The agenda is now available and registration is open. 


ASPA plans 75th anniversary celebration in March in D.C.

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) will hold its 2014 Annual Conference March 14-18, 2014, at the Mayflower Renaissance in Washington, D.C. One of the keynote presentations will be given by Elaine Karmark, a public policy expert who founded the New Democratic Movement that helped elect President Bill Clinton. She is also the founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings Institution. This year's conference celebrates the 75th anniversary of the ASPA. The conference programming examines the challenge of managing and leading public service organizations in the 21st century, public human resource management, budgeting and finance management and policy formulation and service delivery. Featuring more than 150 panels led by public-service experts, the event will address changing public-sector ethics, how to create smarter government and working across levels of government and sectors. Conference registration is now open and additional information is available.

TCEA convention for 2014 will be held in Austin, Texas

The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) 2014 Convention and Exposition will be held Feb. 3-7 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. This 34th annual convention will include educators from across the country and around the world as they network and share experiences to help them better integrate technology in the classroom and improve teaching skills and learning practices. Ten specialized academies will offer in-depth tech integration tips and best practices on a variety of topics. More than 400 workshops and hands-on sessions will be held and more than 450 companies will offer the latest technology solutions in the exhibit hall. More information is available and registration is now open.


U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting set in January
The United States Conference of Mayors 82nd Conference of Mayors Meeting is planned for Jan. 22-24, 2014, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event will feature task force and committee meetings and workshops. Registration is now open and the draft agenda is available.


2014 Energy Outlook Conference slated for Feb. 4-7 in D.C.
The 2014 Energy Outlook Conference, hosted by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Association of State Energy Research Institutions (ASERTTI), is planned for Feb. 4-7, 2014, at the Fairmont Hotel, 2401 M Street, NW in Washington, D.C. The conference will focus on state-federal energy collaboration in a new budget and policy era. This year's conference will explore the national energy policy outlook and the state, federal and private-sector partnerships that will advance United States energy policy. Click here for more information.
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