For a number of years, Silva General Construction Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary West Pac Interiors Inc. (SGC/WPI) had been bidding unsuccessfully on jobs for the Airport Authority’s Quieter Home Program. It was the Airport Authority’s small business department that suggested to Rosalie Silva, president/owner of SGC/WPI, that she look at bid opportunities for the Green Build and attend the Turner School of Construction to learn how to improve her bid packages.
“The Airport Authority’s small business department helped us understand the bid requirements and the small business outreach events gave us the opportunity to market our services to the larger companies that planned to bid on The Green Build,” Silva said.
And it worked.
SGC/WPI, a certified woman-owned small construction company based in Escondido, has had a major role in the drywall and interior finishes on the Green Build by teaming with a larger company, Component West, that installed all the framing and some of the drywall, as well.
“As a small business, we couldn’t have completed this job alone,” Silva said. “Without having the Airport Authority emphasizing small business requirements, we wouldn’t have been able to get this work.”
In years past, Silva felt that large contractors gave minimal attention to good faith efforts to create opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses.
“Now we have the Airport Authority saying, ‘we want you to use small businesses on our projects.’”
SGC/WPI is one of many local businesses awarded contracts for work on the Green Build. To date, small businesses have been awarded a total of $108 million in contracts, with local businesses awarded $374 million.
The payroll on this job was a substantial hurdle. However, Component West, the prime subcontractor with Turner/PCL/Flatiron, and Silva made arrangements in the original contract to provide cash flow, as needed, for both payroll and materials for the duration of the contract.
“The Airport Authority, prime contractors and prime subcontractors really did everything possible to accommodate small businesses,” she said.
According to Silva, this was a very noteworthy contract for her company -- it was significant in scope and helped raise the company’s profile.
“Working on the Green Build also kept us going during the economic downturn -- it truly helped us keep the company afloat,” Silva said. “We also learned how to work on larger scope projects from the accounts payable side too. It helped us grow in so many ways.”
For years, Silva Construction had only been doing retail and tenant improvement projects.
“Now, things are picking up and we’re implementing what we’ve learned through our work at the airport and we are winning new, larger contracts for diverse projects,” Silva said. “We are particularly proud of our work on the Green Build.”
We finished the drywall to a Level 5, which is considered extra nice and smooth -- even the architect thought the finish was outstanding. We used a new product produced by a San Diego company. The product, combined with our technique, produced a really beautiful finish -- it’s aesthetically amazing.”
Looking ahead, Silva plans to bid on projects for the Airport Authority’s north side development, where a new Rental Car Center and Fixed-Base Operator building are among the planned improvements.