February 2021 Newsletter

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”

~Thurgood Marshall, first African American U.S. Supreme Court Member~

Next PBDG Meeting 

Wednesday February 17, 2021 • 4 – 5:30pm

Our monthly meetings are open to PBDG Members and Partners. If you would like to attend as a guest, please email irene@pbdgweb.com.

Click here to register for this virtual event!

If you are still having issues using Zoom, please let us know so we can assist you.

Upcoming Classes

Click on the class lists below to be taken to our interactive PDF of February 2021 Classes at PBDG. There you can click on the registration links to register through PBDG’s Eventbrite page.

All of our classes are elligible for CCB credit.

We look forward to having you join us!

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Kenechi Onyeagusi, PBDG Executive Director


Black History Month kicks off this week, providing us an opportunity to reflect on a tumultuous year of race relations. There has been a cross section of violence, anger, and protest. Some of our darkest days as a nation have taken place in the last twelve months, but now is the time for learning on the part of the privileged and with time, the beginnings of healing on the part of the oppressed.

But we will also celebrate some amazing milestones this Black History Month. A black woman is Vice President for the first time in American history, marking a milestone for millions in our country. The stories of systemic racism are being told and more importantly, being heard.

PBDG, our members, partners, and investors have an immense opportunity to support our community as we navigate this time together. PBDG is providing communities of color with opportunity for growth in the construction industry. By supporting this work, our partners are making an investment in strategic economic solutions. By creating opportunity, we as a community will begin to unravel the dangerous and exhaustive damage of systemic racism.

Our membership meeting is on February 17, from 4 to 5:30pm and we will have a great line up of presentations and guests. I hope we can look forward to seeing you there.

With hope,


Member of The Month

Partner of The Month

New Member Spotlight

Industry News

Event & Meeting Details

Invitations to Bid

Member of the Month

Haregu Nemariam, Founder/Owner and Principal Engineer
Phone: (541) 680-3411

Email: Haregu@nemariam-engineers.com
Website: www.nemariam-engineers.com

Haregu Nemariam originally hails from Eritrea, Africa. When she first came to the US, she experienced a very large interchange with a lot of traffic. This busy interchange really impressed her; she asked herself what she needs to do to design these complex freeway interchange structures and discovered that she wanted to pursue civil engineering. After she graduated, she worked as a transportation engineer for several city and state agencies in California and Oregon. She then joined CH2M for five years until she decided to start her own business. Haregu established Nemariam Engineers & Associates (NEA) in 2010 and has over 25 years of transportation engineering and management experience.

Nemariam Engineers & Associates provides the following services: traffic impact assessment, parking study, signal design, streetlighting and analysis, traffic control plan preparation.

One of Haregu’s notable projects was the Woodburn Estacada Highway project where she completed the traffic control plans and signing. She also completed the streetlighting, signing and striping for NE 238 Drive in Wood Village. Another completed project was the execution of the traffic operations analysis for the NW 6th and Marshall apartment complexes where she successfully obtained a waiver for the truck loading zone requirement.

A defining moment for Haregu was when the recession hit in 2010; there was a significant lack of governmental projects and employment opportunities. This is when she decided she wanted to work for herself and start her own business.

COBID Certification(s): DBE, ESB, MBE, and WBE

Partner of the Month

Gerry Hein, Project Manager and Director

Website: www.hoffmancorp.com

Hoffman Construction is a general contractor with its home office in Portland, Oregon.  Founded in 1922, we are approaching our centennial as the contractor that many owners choose for their most important and challenging projects.  We develop a “can do” culture in our employees and give them enough support and autonomy to achieve not only high personal achievement, but to continue to push innovations in our industry for the benefit of our clients.  We continually set industry standards for safety, quality, equity, cost control, and schedule.

Gerry Hein, Project Manager and Director talks about his experiences with Hoffman Construction:

“Personally, I have been with Hoffman since 1984. My 36+ at Hoffman has allowed me extensive experience in all aspects of the construction industry from scheduling, estimating, all levels of onsite construction supervision as well as project management on public and private projects.  The flat management style and project-oriented teams always put emphasis on overall success of the project rather than on personal glory or achievement. The Hoffman culture promotes autonomous decision making to keep a project moving.  There are very few decisions that need higher level approval; it is expected that you think and act professionally and to intuitively know when you need to seek the help of others, otherwise, get the job done! So, why am I telling this part of my story and the Hoffman story?  Because it is the essence of some of the work that I have been able to do over the last decade with respect to promoting equity in the construction workplace.  If I did not work at a company that truly allows people to be themselves and achieve their best, regardless of any other aspect of their being, then I would not likely believe that amazing things are possible for everyone if given opportunity to work, to be autonomous in their actions, and to be in a workplace culture that respects them — free of oppression or harassment.

I have already achieved a legacy of great projects and great relationships in this industry, but that is mostly about me and will all be for naught if our craft workers and the general industry does not figure out how to ensure that future projects and future relationship building is not an equal opportunity for the diverse workforce that is needed to continue the improvement of our industry.  To achieve this, it is important to understand that you cannot force people to change. Each of our jobsites is like a small community and developing a positive culture on those jobsites will support the diverse workforce that we need for the future.  Because of my own career development, I believe in that potential.  I know it is possible for people to achieve great things when given opportunity without suppression or a false ceiling.     

Since I do not profess to have visionary power, I will stick to what I believe needs to happen in the construction industry, and what I hope will happen in the next 5 to 10 years.  It is getting more and more expensive to build with those costs outpacing inflation, which in the long-term will not be good for our industry.  We need to attract workers that want to be builders and have the freedom to leverage their ideas into higher productivity and better quality.  The workers, across all trades, need to regain a pride in their craft and produce defect-free work with excellence in fit and finish.  Again, I put forth that when you have a jobsite community that is supportive of one another there is a natural pride in working efficiently with high quality.  When people aren’t happy at work they produce a lousy outcome.  Our industry liabilities are too huge to have unhappy workers producing lousy outcomes! We also need to leverage that better jobsite culture to attract and retain the diversity of workers that can truly raise the bar of achievement.  I am not sure why people continue to not understand that diversity brings strength and innovation.  When we are a monoculture we do not innovate, and we ultimately weaken and degrade.  Change and diversity is what keeps life strong.  We need to minimize the voices that want to keep things the same and encourage the voices that have ideas about how to change and improve.

Rather than shouting out individuals, I would like to shout out the “type of person”, or the traits of a person, that should be celebrated. I celebrate people that are ethical in their conduct, that work hard, that provide opportunities for others, that support others, that are honest with their words and actions, and that really believe in the potential that every person can achieve if given the support and freedom to do so. 

Hoffman, as well as me personally, have appreciated what Faye Burch, and now PBDG, has done to help the smaller, the start-up, the diverse construction industry firms in our community.  PBDG’s vision and willingness to advocate and help these businesses succeed goes way beyond just being a voice in an echo chamber.  PBDG is providing real assistance on real issues that will make these businesses successful.  That demands concerted work, a firm conviction, and people that believe in the mission.  I also like that there is a clear vision forming within PBDG for how to provide help and to achieve real improvements.

In my time at Hoffman, I have worked with the following PBDG members: Rodriguez General Constructors, Northwest Infrastructure, Professional Lath and Plaster, Zana Construction, Faison Construction, Alcantar and Associates, A2 Fabrication, Summit Wood Creations, Pacificmark Construction, O’Neill Construction Group, Azuri Construction, Complete Fusion Welding, Bestrade Enterprises, FM Burch & Associates, Ha’s Painting, Madlyn Metal Fab, McDonald Excavating, Sterling Pacific, and Valley Growers Nursery.

A fun fact about myself is that I did not own a car until I was 30 and I have been told that my hobby is wine collecting.”

New Member Spotlight

Olawale Elkanah, Owner
Phone: (971) 239-2065

Email: Flourishcontractors17@gmail.com
Website: www.flourishcontractors.org

Olawale Elkanah’s passion for cleanliness and attention to detail inspired him to become an entrepreneur and start his own cleaning service company, Flourish Contractors, in 2017. Another factor that inspired him to start his own business was the many experiences with the jobless and other generally marginalized communities throughout his ministries with his church. He found that many people in these communities are willing to work, but no one would hire them. Starting his own business created an opportunity for Olawale to empower people who would not have the opportunity otherwise.

Flourish Contractors provides the following services: Post-construction cleaning, residential and commercial cleaning (schools, offices, churches, etc.), and move-in/move-out cleaning.

Olawale recently completed a 357-unit multi-family home post-construction cleaning project for D.R. Horton on three different Salem sites. They also completed a post-construction cleaning project at North Salem High School for Pence Construction. Another recently completed post-construction cleaning project was the Salem Police Department for the City of Salem. Olawale is currently working on two post-construction cleaning projects for Hoffman Construction in the Supreme Court building and the State Capitol.

A defining moment for Flourish Contractors was when Olawale began working with D.R Horton. This working relationship allowed him to establish his business in the commercial construction industry and has created significant growth for his company.

COBID Certification(s): DBE, MBE, and ESB Certifications are currently in progress.

Industry News


Round 2: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program is a federal loan program designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. There is $284 billion allocated to the program in this round. As of January 19, the PPP loan portal has fully opened to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:

SBA also offers additional Coronavirus relief.

SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses. Some changes to the program have been made in this round that expand its use. The program will cover some costs that were previously not eligible, such as general operational costs and supplier costs. The program is also now available for 501(c)(6) organizations. 

Click HERE for more information!

Click HERE to find an eligible lender to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program.

PBDG – Free PPE Distribution

PBDG is partnering with Business Oregon to distribute free PPE to qualifying small businesses.

PPE supplies will include:

  • Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
  • Nylon Gloves
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Sanitizing Wipes
  • Disposable Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • N95 Masks
  • Infrared Thermometers

Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.

Click HERE to sign up for free PPE!

NW 9th/NW Hoyt: System Improvement Project Information Session – Feb 3 at 2pm

The City of Portland seeks to engage with businesses that can facilitate delivery of a CM/GC project that will make sewer, stormwater, and water system improvements for the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau.

Scope of Work within the project area – NW 9th & Hoyt:

  • Abandon existing combined and sanitary sewer pipes and replace with new sanitary and storm pipes ranging
    from 24-inch to 30-inch diameter to meet capacity and resiliency needs.
  • Abandon existing water infrastructure and construct new 8-inch water main and install hydrants.
  • Implement a Community Benefits Agreement.

Participate in a System Improvement Project Information Session:

  • WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 PM
  • WHEREJoin Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 978-7156-7701
    Passcode: 960541

For more information contact:
Kelly Davis-McKernan, Construction Procurement Supervisor, Kelly.Davis-McKernan@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7574

Portland Public School Business Equity in Purchasing & Contracting Survey

Sjoberg Evashenk Consulting, Inc. was hired by PPS in 2018 to conduct performance audits of its 2017 School Improvement Bond.

As part of this year’s audit, we are reviewing PPS efforts towards achieving business equity goals and are distributing this survey to local businesses to gather general information related to their work and experience with PPS.

We are independent from PPS, its Office of School Modernization, and Purchasing & Contracting Department and our work follows Government Auditing Standards that require our work to be objective and evidence-based. Your survey responses will be kept confidential and we will not contact you further unless you wish to speak with us.

Please click HERE to complete the survey by February 17, 2021 and feel free to share the link to other businesses in your community.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sjoberg Evashenk Consulting’s Project Director Lien Luu, Lien@secteam.com, or Senior Consultant Grace Park, Grace@secteam.com, or (916) 443-1300.


WHEN: Thursday February 4, 2021

TIME: 3pm-5pm

WHERE: Via Zoom, Click HERE to Register!

ODOT – New online Training for ADA Curb Ramp Certification

What does this course cover?

ADA Curb Ramp Certification is required for anyone who would like to become certified as a Certified ADA Inspector or Certified ADA Contractor. The certification course is the same for inspectors and contractors. The self-guided online certification training covers the use of the ADA curb ramp inspection forms, the use of tools, best inspection practice and measurement guidance. It also covers when to submit the forms and where to send them.

How long is certification valid?

This self-guided online course will provide a one-year ADA curb ramp certification. This course will provide a certification for one-year from the date of completion.

Interested in this course?

Click HERE to register!

What you need to have for this course?

  • Oregon Standard Specifications, current edition
  • Smart Level (optional)
  • Pen and paper for taking notes and performing exercises

Click HERE for more information!

Comcast RISE – a multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to BIPOC-owned small businesses

Apply today!

The deadline for your small business application is February 7, 2021.

Additional recipients will be chosen quarterly.

You are eligible to apply for this program if your business:

  • Is at least 51% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned and operated
  • Is independently owned and operated
  • Is registered to conduct business in the US
  • Has been operating for one or more years
  • Is located within the Comcast Business or Effectv service area footprint

Click HERE for more information and to apply!

Oregonsaves Retirement program

OregonSaves is a state retirement program that provides Oregonians a unique opportunity to save for the future. Whether you are an employer who will facilitate the program or an individual planning for the future, OregonSaves is a simple way to get started.

Click HERE for more information!

Green hammer position opening – Construction Project Manager

Green Hammer is looking for a seasoned Construction Project Manager to join our creative and collaborative team of architects and builders. We are a Certified B-Corporation and a leading sustainable design build firm in Portland, OR. Our mission is to inspire the evolution of our living environment by creating buildings that promote health and protect the planet. We capitalize on our Unified Design-Build Process and inclusive, collaborative culture, to develop high-performance and highly sustainable residential, commercial, and multi- family projects. We are one of 27 firms in the United States currently meeting the AIA’s 2030 Commitment to battle climate change.

Ideal Qualifications
You are inspired by Green Hammer’s mission. You understand the power of collaboration and see working within a multi-disciplinary team (architects, builders, and trade partners) as the most effective way to design and build highly sustainable buildings. You are an organized, self-starting individual and are comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously. You are comfortable managing and mentoring up and coming build professionals and setting the tone for team collaboration and accountability on projects. You are comfortable taking over client relations after the sales process and shepherding this relationship through the entire design-build process.

As a Build Project Manager, you are an integral part of the Unified Design-Build Process and a key driver of the project life-cycle. You may be involved in a variety of projects from renovations, single family new construction, commercial, and multi-family.

Click HERE for more information and instrcutions on how to apply!

Need to Register your Business with the State of Oregon?

If you are needing to register your business with the State of Oregon and require registration forms in another language, you can now access these forms in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean.

Click HERE to access these registration forms!

Northwest Infrastructure Position Opening – Project Engineer

Northwest Infrastructure specializes in heavy civil construction and offers excavation, demolition, underground utilities, and dump trucking services. They are currently looking to hire a Project Engineer that is highly motivated, with a demonstrated passion for excellence and taking initiative, has a strong work ethic, and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done right the first time.

Click here to view the full list of position responsibilities, requirements, and how to apply!

PBDG Receives EPA Grant for Clean Diesel Upgrades

EPA has received a grant of over $540,000 to assist local firms in the construction and trucking industries to replace older diesel trucks and equipment with late model, low emitting trucks and equipment. The EPA program, authorized under the Diesel Emission Reduction Grant or “DERA”, awarded more than $44 million nationally to projects that help diesel fleet and equipment owners to transition to lower emission vehicles, equipment and engines. Diesel exhaust is a known human carcinogen and is also a significant contributor to climate change due to soot emissions.

The PBDG project is partnering with Valley Growers and Nursery Landscape, Cutter Construction Inc., NW Infrastructure and Jet Expedited Transport to scrap and replace three dump trucks, three semi tractors, a Class 8 hydroseeder truck and a skid steer loader with late model diesels that are lower emitting. Each of these companies will scrap older trucks and equipment in return for a federal contribution of 25 percent of the replacement costs.

An announcement for 2021 funding was recently posted by EPA. PBDG is very much interested in assembling a group of fleet owners who want to be part of this next cycle. If successful, funds won’t become available until after October 2021. Even if not successful, we have strategies to help you with additional opportunities. Interested fleets should get in touch with PBDG as soon as possible.

If interested, email information@pbdgweb.com!

Thank you to our February class sponsors!

Invitations to Bid

TriMet - Upcoming Bids

TriMet - Upcoming Bids

Andersen Construction - Special Project Opportunities

Andersen Construction - Special Project Opportunities

Walsh Construction - Upcoming Bids

Walsh Construction - Upcoming Bids

Hoffman Skanska - PDX TCORE BP #23 - Structural Retrofit Phase 1

Hoffman Skanska - PDX TCORE BP #23 - Structural Retrofit Phase 1

Bids Due February 11 at 2pm

Hoffman Pacificmark JV - Lincoln High School

Hoffman Pacificmark JV - Lincoln High School

Bids Due March 4 at 2pm

Kiewit - Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) Project Updates

Kiewit - Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant (CBWTP) Project Updates

Andersen Construction - Benson High School Project Updates

Andersen Construction - Benson High School Project Updates

ODOT - Upcoming 2021 Projects

ODOT - Upcoming 2021 Projects

Innovative Housing Inc. - Anna Mann Affordable Housing Project Updates

Innovative Housing Inc. - Anna Mann Affordable Housing Project Updates

Pence - OSU Wiegand Hall Pilot Plant Window Replacement

Pence - OSU Wiegand Hall Pilot Plant Window Replacement

Bids Due February 5 at 12pm

Pence - Sprague High School Addition & Renovation - Bid Package #2

Pence - Sprague High School Addition & Renovation - Bid Package #2

Bids Due February 10 at 2pm

Pence - Stephens Middle School & Yoshikai Elementary School: Renovation & Addition

Pence - Stephens Middle School & Yoshikai Elementary School: Renovation & Addition

Bids Due February 18 at 12pm

Port of Portland - Parking Garages P1 and P2 Wayfinding Signage Replacement

Port of Portland - Parking Garages P1 and P2 Wayfinding Signage Replacement

Bids Dues February 23 at 2pm

City of Portland - Pending Bids

City of Portland - Pending Bids

Metro - Oregon Convention Center Fire Alarm System Testing and Services

Metro - Oregon Convention Center Fire Alarm System Testing and Services

Bids Due February 25 at 2pm

Metro - Metro South Transfer Station Women's Locker Room Remodel

Metro - Metro South Transfer Station Women's Locker Room Remodel

Bids Due March 9 at 2pm

Fortis Construction - Jaguar, Adams, Wildcat Elementary School Renovations

Fortis Construction - Jaguar, Adams, Wildcat Elementary School Renovations

Bids Dues February 11 at 2pm

Fortis Construction - UO Hamilton Walton Transformation Project - Phase 2 (BP 5)

Fortis Construction - UO Hamilton Walton Transformation Project - Phase 2 (BP 5)

Bids Dues February 17 at 4pm

JW Fowler - Upcoming Bids

JW Fowler - Upcoming Bids



Bids Due February 12 at 12pm

Skanska - Heritage High School

Skanska - Heritage High School

Bids Due February 10 at 12pm

Stacy and Witbeck - Red Line Expansion and Reliability Improvements Project

Stacy and Witbeck - Red Line Expansion and Reliability Improvements Project

Potential DBE Business Opportunities

Mortenson - Design Phase Quarterly Update

Mortenson - Design Phase Quarterly Update

PBOT - Street Lighting, Traffic Signal, & Intelligent Transportation System Engineering Services Opportunities

PBOT - Street Lighting, Traffic Signal, & Intelligent Transportation System Engineering Services Opportunities

Coming Soon


Visit our covid-19 resource page for a more comprehensive list of resources
Oregon COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program

Do you have to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19, but don’t have paid time off?

The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program is available to people who need to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19 exposure or are experiencing symptoms and need a medical diagnosis, but do not qualify for COVID-19-related paid sick leave (or do not have access to COVID-19-related paid time off).

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you will get a $120 per-day payment, up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time you need to quarantine or isolate.


Click here to apply, view more information and eligibility requirements!