Press Release Article


Date: Oct 29, 2004
Press Release Number: 130-2004

Small, Women-Owned, Minority-Owned Firms Gain Knowledge About How to Acquire Agency Contracts

About 100 architectural and engineering companies from New York and New Jersey attended the Port Authority’s Architectural and Engineering Information Exchange Program on October 27 at Baruch College’s Newman Conference Center in Manhattan.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said “We have been holding this event for about eight years and it is always well received by the participants. Past exchange programs have led to about $30 million in contracts annually for small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses, and we expect many of the firms attending today’s conference to do business together in the future.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr., said, “This program gave the small, minority-owned and women-owned architectural and engineering companies that attended the opportunity to network and develop relationships with larger firms that are looking for reliable, Port Authority-certified consulting firms to work on future projects.

Port Authority Chief Engineer Francis J. Lombardi and Assistant Chief Engineer Joseph Englot provided information about the $440 million in construction contracts slated to be awarded next year and explained the agency’s architectural and engineering procurement process. They also explained how small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses can become prime contractors and subcontractors. Large architectural and engineering firms staffed exhibits where smaller firms were able to acquire information that could lead to subcontracts.

Mr. Lombardi said, “The Port Authority’s capital program generates profitable opportunities for the region’s architectural and engineering firms as well as other companies.”

“We want to make the playing field as level as possible so that eligible firms can take advantage of and benefit from these opportunities,” said Wil Chabrier, General Manager of Business and Job Opportunity. “Small, minority-owned and women-owned companies that wish to become certified Port Authority consulting firms can go to our Web site – – to download an application form.”

Haila Hudson of Milestones Engineering P.C. in Morris Plains, NJ., said, “In general, these events are very informative. However, this one specifically exceeded my expectations.”

Mr. Robert Gaskin, Principal of RCGA Architects of Jamaica, N.Y., said, “The event was inspirational in terms of allowing our firm to gain valuable insights and opening up opportunities to meet and partner with firms that work directly for the Port Authority.”

During the past year, the Port Authority has sponsored and participated in networking events that provide businesses with opportunities to cultivate relationships with industry leaders and potential clients. The Port Authority co-sponsors the Senator Lipman seminar series, which helps small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to operate more efficiently. The agency also supports preapprenticeship training programs in New York and New Jersey that help high school students acquire the skills necessary to compete for entry into state-registered construction training programs.

Since the mid-1970s, the Port Authority has been assisting small, minority-owned, and women-owned companies in acquiring contracts with the agency. The agency’s Business and Job Opportunity staff provides information on contracting opportunities, financial and technical assistance, business and labor development programs, seminars, workshops and referral services.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan.

The agency is self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

Wil Chabrier (l.), the Port Authority’s General Manager
of Business and Job Opportunity exchanges
ideas with Jim Harani (r.), President of Hirani Engineering
& Land Surveying, P.C. Mr. Hirani’s company has
offices in Mineola, N.Y. and Somerset, N.J.

Port Authority Chief Engineer Francis J. Lombardi (l.)
discusses business opportunities with Halia
Hudson (r.) of Milestone Engineering, a firm
located in Morris Plains, N.J.

Wil Chabrier (l.), the Port Authority’s General Manager
of Business and Job Opportunity talks
with Mr. Robert Gaskin (r.), Principal of RCGA Architects
of Jamaica, N.Y., and other Exchange Program

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