Local News

Conference draws contractors looking for work

Posted March 24, 2009 6:37 p.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2009 6:54 p.m. EDT

— A record-setting crowd of an estimated 1,100 contractors, engineers and architects turned out Tuesday for the 28th annual State Construction Conference at North Carolina State University.

Many of them who attended for the first time said the lack of work in the private sector now has them broadening their base by looking for work in the public sector.

Contractors say profit margins are much lower on government contracts than private-sector jobs, but that they are willing to bid lower on projects just to get work.

"(I'm) trying to learn how to operate inside the system, whether it be federal, state or local," said Corey McDonough, a general contractor preparing to venture into the public sector. "It's a learning curve for us."

"We never really used to have to look for work," said Lisa Bossert, a fire protection engineer. "It would come to us. Now, we need to get out and look for it.