HISD Training Event Emphasizes Compliance for 2012 Bond Contractors

Construction managers, architects, engineers and program managers who’ve been awarded contracts so far in the 2012 bond program were part of a mandatory daylong HISD training Wednesday to ensure that they comply with all safety, labor and M/WBE requirements.

Bernard Willingham, HISD's Team Lead for Supplier Diversity, shares information with contractors on compliance under the 2012 bond program.

“HISD is very serious about the safety of the workers on these construction sites, especially since they could possibly interface with students and faculty,” said Troi Taylor of Taylor Construction Management, which will build the new campus for Milby High School and DeBakey High School for Health Professions.

More than 60 people turned out for the event to learn about the district’s expectations for maintaining safety on job sites, including running background checks on construction crews and scanning badges for workers entering and leaving the site.

“I’ve never seen that done before, and I want to try it,” said Guy Cooke of Tellepsen Builders, which was awarded contracts for construction manager at risk (CMAR) services for bond projects at Milby and DeBakey. “This sends a message that HISD is willing to put resources on the job site instead of relying on contractors to ensure that each project is safe.”

The workshop also included a presentation on HISD’s minority- and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) program. In the 2012 bond program, the professional contracts awarded to date reflect a nearly 51 percent M/WBE commitment. Every company that does business with the district has to submit its M/WBE percentages and then meet those commitments.

“HISD was very clear about its expectations for M/WBE participation,” Taylor said. “The CMARs made commitments to comply with a certain percentage of work with M/WBEs, and it’s important that they fulfill that commitment.”

Some of the highlights from the training were:

  • HISD will maintain a certified payroll system to ensure vendors and subcontractors are paid on time
  • All HISD contractors must meet their M/WBE commitment
  • Anyone on an HISD construction site must pass a background check
  • HISD construction workers must adhere to the district’s safety guidelines and procedures
  • HISD contractors must follow labor and compliance regulations

Sterling High School project manager Ashlea Hogancamp of the SHW Group said the workshop was a good opportunity to learn what the district expects from those working on the bond projects.

“One of the benefits of being here is that we all understand what’s expected for the contractors even if (my firm) doesn’t have to take action on any of the steps they have to take,” Hogancamp said.

Alexis Licata, general manager of HISD’s Office of Business Assistance, said the training event was part of an ongoing effort by the district to ensure all firms awarded contracts in the bond program know what’s required.

The district may hold additional events in the future.