Now we know who scored one of the biggest contracts of the Democratic National Convention, worth more than $3 million for transportation management. But there are still sub-contracting and employment opportunities for Charlotte residents and businesses. That's according to the Democratic National Convention Committee, the Committee for Charlotte 2012 and contract-winner representatives who, on Wednesday, rolled up to Bank of America Stadium on a bus. Literal, but effective.
The three companies are Event Transportation Associates, which has experience at the Daytona 500 and the Democratic National Conventions in 1992, 2000 and 2008; Vectour Group (formally International Trailways), a minority-owned transportation management company with Olympics and other big-event experience; and Charlotte Destination Group, whose clientele includes NASCAR. The companies first connected in January at a business-outreach meeting hosted by the DNCC and the host committee and submitted their bid as a team.
The companies are will operate a shuttle system using 250-plus buses that will serve delegates and convention guests at 150 hotels. DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan said the plan, besides moving thousands efficiently, would reduce convention traffic on the roads. Brian Clark of Event Transportation Associates told me, "A major factor is organizing a system that's safe for everyone."
Mayor Anthony Foxx said he hoped to "keep these partnerships going over a longer period of time," beyond the convention. (Foxx was having a particularly busy Wednesday, moving from the stadium announcement to a Junior Achievement/Mayor's Youth Employment Program job-sharing day with local high school students to signing a lease agreement between the city of Charlotte and the Norfolk Southern Corp. to construct the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility at Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility.)
Wednesday also served as a reminder for businesses, including local bus companies, to register through the convention vendor director for subcontracting opportunities.
In another outreach event, a Democratic National Convention information session was scheduled for the Charlotte Chamber's 12th annual business showcase, an exhibition of area businesses and services at The Park Expo and Conference Center on Wednesday.
Foxx wasn't the only one having a busy day. Kerrigan was scheduled to host the Wednesday night opening of the second Charlotte field office of Organizing for America North Carolina, President Obama's grassroots organization. The University City office, located at 2750 E. WT Harris Blvd., is the 13th regional office to open across the state. The other Charlotte office is at 301 E. 9th St.
The DNCC is also looking for a vendor or vendors to design and produce the artwork for the official 2012 Democratic National Convention credential. The vendor who may bid for both credential design and artistic services or for just one component - will develop credential designs and/or artwork in coordination with the DNCC, the security printing vendor and other vendors. Click here for details.
Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning Charlotte, N.C.-based journalist, is a contributor to The Washington Post's "She the People" blog, The Root, NPR and the Nieman Watchdog blog. Her "Keeping It Positive" segment airs Wednesdays at 7:10 a.m. on Fox News Rising Charlotte, and she was national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter.