How IT vendors can get a piece of the $1.2T infrastructure bill

By Kevin P. Young, Senior Market Intelligence Analyst

When the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law late last year by President Biden, many of us in the GovCon community started to think about how this five-year, $1.2 trillion might lead to additional business for us.

Here is some basic information that should provide enough background to get you started in evaluating whether or not your company should pursue business in this area. Small businesses might especially want to take note.

Isn’t this money for roads and bridges? What about:

  • Transit and rail?
  • Airports, seaports and waterways?
  • Electric vehicles?
  • Power and water systems and supplies?
  • Broadband?
  • Environmental remediation?
  • Plus – hazardous waste, hospitals and lighthouses?
  • And parks, pipeline transport and public housing?

YES, they all are — but your company could have an important role to play.

Many infrastructure plans have been shelved indefinitely as local officials struggled to find the funding, leaving the nation’s infrastructure system in desperate need of repair. This legislation will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments to projects over the next five years.

Consider that some 20%, or 173,000 miles, of the nation’s highways and major roads are in poor condition — as are 45,000 bridges, according to the White House. And our nation’s critical infrastructure has earned a dubious C-minus score from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Change is a priority — and federal money will be allocated through a variety of programs, mostly run by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Some of the funds will be disbursed directly to state transportation agencies, and other monies will be awarded to selected applicants through competitive grant programs.

Major initiatives will include, but not be limited to, the Port of Baltimore; Atlanta Express Lanes for Buses; Chicago Rail Yards; and a second structure in support of the Brent Spence Bridge (Routes 71 and 75) across the Ohio River between Covington, KY, and Cincinnati, OH.

But won’t the prime contractors on these projects — the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (or AEC) firms — get ALL the work?

Federal powerhouses such as AECOM, Bechtel, Fluor, Jacobs Engineering, Parsons and Tetra Tech?

Or DC regional firms such as Lane Construction and Shirley Contracting?

Most likely – but your company could still have an important role to play.

The reason being the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will require 23% to 26% “carve-outs” for “set-aside firms” such as SBA 8(a) Business Development, Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), Small, Small Disadvantaged, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Native Americans, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians.

And, just as important, a majority of the nation’s infrastructure’s projects will require information technology, telecommunications, networking and business process outsourcing (BPO) — plus many other IT subcontractor products, services and solutions.

So, how does your company take advantage of these federal infrastructure opportunities?

To be considered as a subcontractor to an AEC, you will want to:

  • Register online as a potential supplier with the aforementioned AECs
  • Indicate, if appropriate, your company’s small business certifications
  • Research opportunities your targeted AECs will potentially pursue
  • Introduce yourself to the specific AEC contract managers (NOTE: It also may be a supplier manager, supply chain manager or small business liaison)
  • Share your company’s capabilities statement – including your SBA designations, your offerings portfolio and your relevant past performances
  • Ask to be considered for and introduced to the AEC’s key opportunities and capture teams

This blog should give you enough information to decide whether or not this deserves further investigation. It’s hard not to take notice of a bill worth $1.2 TRILLION over the next 5 years.

Interested in expanding your footprint in the public sector? Learn how immixGroup’s market intelligence team can help.

Interested in keeping up with the latest public sector IT trends? Subscribe to immixGroup’s Government Sales Insider blog.

This blog was adapted from an article that originally appeared in Arrow Channel Advisor. Read more.

About Kevin P. Young
Kevin P. Young is a 34-year veteran of the Federal Government Industry, serving in executive, professional, management consulting, speaking / training, and adjunct professor roles. He is recipient of the IBM Excellence Award, IBM Marketing Award, and – as a site team – Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, sponsored by U.S. Department of Commerce. He currently serves as Senior Market Intelligence Analyst for Arrow Electronics / immixGroup.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: