FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: February 15, 2017
CONTACT: Superintendent Chuck Ransom, Woodburn School District
(503) 981-2727 firstname.lastname@example.org
Woodburn School District reaches out to minority, women and emerging businesses
WOODBURN, OR—As part of a $65 million school bond passed by voters in 2015, the Woodburn School District is reaching out to Minority-Owned, Women-Owned and Emerging Small Businesses to participate in the work.
“This is about giving every business a chance to help on a big project,” said Superintendent Chuck Ransom. “We’re a diverse, growing school district and it only makes sense to work with diverse and growing contractors to help build better schools for the students and taxpayers we serve.”
The Woodburn School District created a Bond Advisory and Accountability Committee (BAAC) to track the projects and make sure tax dollars are spent wisely during the 5-year timeline. The school board and the district both wanted to include women and minority owned contractors in the projects.
David Vancil is a former Woodburn School Board member and currently chairs the BAAC. He says that the school bond presents a huge opportunity for the Woodburn Community.
“It was very important to the BAAC that local businesses have an opportunity to compete for some of this business. J.J. Henri and STORI Jobs have done an outstanding job in reaching out to our local contractors to create opportunities for local employment.”
J.J. Henri Co., which serves as project manager, and STORI Jobs (which stands for Search Talent Opportunity Recruit and Inclusion) have worked with Business Oregon to hold events and raise awareness for local companies interested in being certified and participating. Flyers for these events were translated into Spanish and Russian, reflecting the large Hispanic and Russian populations in the school district.
“After several internal discussions, we decided the best approach to assist local contractors would be to assist them in becoming certified as MWESB,” said John O. Henri. “This certification allows companies front row seating for projects not only in Woodburn, but statewide.”
The goal for each project ranges from two percent to 20 percent of its total value, Henri said, with an estimated 3,300 companies on the certified list.
Henri said another part of the effort is to help local contractors and companies navigate through the state’s system. One example is training on how to register with the state’s ORPIN System so they will be notified of any work that fits within their specialty.
At a recent event, Henri estimated 30 companies sent representatives to learn more, with at least 12 expressing interest that night in learning how to become certified to participate.
The outreach effort will continue. To find out what type of work is being performed, visit www.woodburnsd.org/bond-updates. As an example, here’s a summary of the type of work planned for Heritage Elementary School, originally constructed to hold 525 students and now serving 930 using portable classrooms:
- Add a classroom annex with additional capacity for 400 to accommodate district‐wide growth, including a multi-purpose/cafeteria, gym, office, and media center
- Demolish existing portables and relocate equivalent capacity to the new annex
- Remodel the main office and entry for additional security
- Add ADA accessible toilet facilities
- Add a new water line to the existing Annex for toilet upgrades
- Reconfigure the parking lot to add more parking
- Replace windows
- Treat slab for moisture
- Replace floorcovering at the cafeteria hall
- Replace roof top units
- Install two new boilers
- Add new controls for better energy efficiency
- Add heat in the Annex office
- Technology upgrades
“The construction and renovations funded by the bond will help create a foundation to educate the next generation of students,” said Superintendent Chuck Ransom. “We hope to use the construction of these new facilities to also lay the foundation for the next generation of female and minority contractors.”