by Vanessa Villarreal, USACE Chicago District, Public Affairs Office
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District closed out fiscal year 2020 with a record-breaking $241M program. A significant contribution to the spike in execution was $137M from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the district’s support to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
At the request of the states of Illinois and Wisconsin in late March, the Chicago District mobilized to plan and construct alternate care facilities in Chicagoland and the Milwaukee area as part of the federal interagency response.
For the total program execution for the fiscal year, small-business awards made up 60% of the total contracts that included 26% to Small Disadvantaged (SD), 22% to HUB Zone, 8% to Woman-Owned, and 2% to SD-Veteran Owned:
- Small Businesses: $66,288,525.04
- Historically Underutilized Small Business Zones: $29,252,972.06 • 8(a) obligations: $4,443,556.78
- Small Disadvantaged Businesses: $24,309,519.73 • Services-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses: $2,146,873.81
- Woman-Owned Small Businesses: $9,067,900.93
The Corps seeks to maximizes opportunities for small businesses to participate in projects and, in turn, small businesses help USACE to strengthen and vitalize the nation’s economy.
“It was a total team effort to close out the year,” Regina Blair, Contracting Office chief, said. “The fact that we all had to work virtually didn’t stop us from completing 75% of our contracting actions during the final month of the fiscal year.”
Looking to fiscal year 2021, the Chicago District anticipates completing another large-program year. USACE adjusted its Civil Works boundaries within the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division on March 29 for the purpose of sustaining a healthy workload across the Corps.
In total, the Chicago District grew from about 4,000 square miles to about 31,500 square miles, and expanded its project and mission portfolio.
The Chicago District is responsible for water resources development in the Chicago metropolitan area, upper Illinois River watershed, Lake Michigan watershed in Wisconsin, and the upper Wabash River watershed In Indiana. The district delivers vital engineering services through flood and coastal storm risk management, navigation, aquatic ecosystem restoration, regulatory, emergency management, recreation, and interagency support services.