Port adding to connections at Contractors Business Development Group

Published 12:25 am Saturday, July 10, 2021

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The best networking in Port Arthur for contracting work gets even better this week.

Organizers stress it’s the perfect time for those not involved to come by and make connections, and there is no charge to attend.

The Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce’s Contractors Business Development Group meeting starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Carl Parker Multipurpose Center on the Lamar State College Port Arthur campus.

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Travis Wood will provide an update to attendees and contractors about regional industry projects.

Following his presentation, an update on the upcoming Port of Port Arthur-related projects is planned.

Port Executive Director/CEO Larry Kelley said the effort by the Chamber and Wood to facilitate a free and open monthly exchange for any business looking to learn about opportunities in the region has proven beneficial for many.

According to Kelley, the Port has utilized the events to meet vendors who now work with the port.

Wednesday’s presentation marks the third time Port officials have made a presentation at the monthly outreach meeting in 2021.

The event is free, and chamber membership is not required.

Kelley said the Port’s most recent survey indicates 25 percent of the businesses it works with are from the Port of Port Arthur Navigation District and 47 percent are from Jefferson County.

The port also promotes a contractor diversity program with a focus on local, woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran- and disabled veteran-owned businesses.

“With a basic understanding of public procurement, we can also provide information about obtaining a Historically Underutilized Business, HUB designation and other information,” Kelley said.

“While we have some needs, for most of our contractors or service providers we are but one of their customers. The steps we discuss should be generally applicable to other public type entities, industry and businesses.”

All vendors are encouraged to visit portpa.com/business/procurement.

“After the program, we will have port tables set up to meet local businesses and discuss one-on-one about the various port projects both large and small,” Kelley said.

“We have asked some large marine general construction firms to attend as the port has a dock construction project that will be publicly bid. Our plan is to foster an environment where potential large general construction firms can meet local area contractors and service providers early in the bid process.”

Kelley stressed the Port of Port Arthur has ongoing work in the form of smaller projects and regular maintenance, best exampled by vendors or service providers performing site civil work, facility repair, equipment repair, building renovation, electrical, mechanical, air conditioning, fencing, concrete, waste services and some fabrication.