FEMA's Nicole Andrews says officials want to give local businesses the first shot at contracting opportunities. "One of our primary priorities is making sure that many of the local contracts go to local businesses and small businesses because those are likely the folks that are most impacted by these storms and also a critical part of getting local economies back online. So we've set aside $1.5 billion specifically for local and small and disadvantaged businesses to get a piece of the pie," she says.
Andrews says the work mostly deals with temporary housing in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and here in Texas. "Essentially, the contracts are for technical assistance in terms of breaking-down camps that are no longer needed. They are maintenance contracts. We're looking for lots of folks who have the capacity to meet the needs of thousands of victims of these storms and their communities," she says.
The FEMA workshop here in Houston takes place Friday at the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel at 1200 Louisiana from noon until 2 p.m.