Weigand Construction welcomed more than 50 local companies interested in being a part of Phase 1 of construction at Electric Works to a meeting Wednesday morning. The pre-bid meeting enabled Weigand leaders to walk through the details of the construction process and how the project’s general contractor will solicit bids for a number of components, products and services. Companies interested in bidding on any aspects of the construction process were encouraged to attend Wednesday’s pre-bid meeting.

“We are thrilled with today’s turnout and with the extreme excitement around this project,” said Dave Jankowski, Vice President of Preconstruction for Weigand Construction. “These companies see the profound potential impact Electric Works has in generating revenue and jobs – at a time when our economy needs it most.”

As one of the largest public-private partnerships in the state of Indiana, Electric Works is expected to generate and support more than 2,000 jobs during the two-year construction cycle for Phase 1, also known as the West Campus. Overall, Electric Works is expected to generate nearly $300 million in economic impact during construction – and almost $400 million in annual economic impact when the campus opens in 2022.

Attendees at today’s meeting also learned more about the initiatives behind ensuring minority- and women-owned businesses are involved in the Phase 1 construction process and strengthening area trade apprenticeship programs for unemployed and underemployed people in the regional workforce.

Representatives from local nonprofit Joshua’s Hand detailed the recent launch of Joshua Works, a partnership with Weigand Construction and the Electric Works development team that will create and manage a Workforce and Business Enterprise Development Program.

The partnership identifies three key goals all aimed at directly addressing the region’s ongoing shortage of skilled tradespeople and the potential impact it can have on its long-term economic outlook. One of the plan’s goals will be for at least 15 percent of participation in construction-related contracts during Phase 1 of the project to come from Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). Another goal will be to place at least 20 percent of entry-level hires for the project into apprenticeship-track programs for skilled trades during or following their employment during Phase 1 of construction. The third goal lays out a committed focus by the development team and its construction partners to the recruitment and hiring of underemployed and unemployed Fort Wayne residents.

“We recognize with Electric Works the profound potential this project has to positively impact the lives of so many throughout the region, and that includes in areas of need here in our city,” said Cedric Lee Walker, founder and CEO of Joshua’s Hand. “We are honored to play a role in helping ensure the positive economic impact of the project’s construction phase benefits women- and minority-owned businesses and creates opportunities for underemployed residents to pursue careers in the skilled trades.”

Construction for Phase 1 of Electric Works is expected to begin later this year. For more information, visit fortwayneelectricworks.com. For more information on Joshua Works, visit JoshuaWorks.org.