There’s been standing room only for Kings’ games, but Thursday was the first standing room only crowd for those who want to get in the game of building a new throne for Sacramento’s NBA team.
They’re contractors – passionate about what they do.
“What we do is we have pipe around the perimeter and then it will get pumped out of the casing, ” said Matt Peyrucain of Viking Drillers.
Folks like that lined up by the hundreds to get into the first workshop aimed at helping small businesses navigate the tight construction schedule planned for the planned $448 million arena.
“Our next step is just to get in on the first design drawings and start getting them budgets for our part of the work,” Richard Nogleberg of Placer Electric.
To make current arena renderings a reality, bids will be coming due for things like demolition and below grade water proofing in less than a month.
General contractor Turner Construction is directing interested workers to its website to become pre-qualified applicants, checking things like field certification and proper registration as a small business.
“You only live once, especially to help assist Sacramento with the building of an arena,” said owner of David Engineering, Oscar David.
For all the companies hoping to make their mark with this project, it also has something for the inexperienced individual with no job prospects thanks to an apprentice partnership with the Sacramento Employment Training Agency.
“They’ll get hired not only to work, but they’ll come with a $4,000 subsidy so it’s a little bit less expensive for the subcontractor to hire them,” said Kunal Merchant, Kings VP of Strategic Initiatives.
With all the hopes tied to job opportunities with the arena some are still critical of heavy focus on union labor.
Eric Christen, executive director of the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, came to Thursday’s contractor workshop to hand out flyers about what his group sees as an ill-fated plan.
“It can’t be something that only a small group of Sacramentans benefit from and unfortuantley with this plan that’s what will happen. Eighty-five percent of the construction workforce in sacramento is non-union. That’s just the way it is,” he said.
All the details of the Project Labor Agreement have not been made public, which Christen says shows it’s not in the best interest of the public.
At Thursday’s workshop the PLA morphed into what’s being called a CWTA or Community Workforce and Training Agreement.
Non-union bidders will be allowed, but workers would still have to join a union during the project.
Companies could retain four non-union employees.
Four more contractor education workshops are scheduled