CWU News

CWU Approves Agreement Designed to Boost Local Contractors

Central Washington University has adopted new construction delivery procedures that should encourage hiring of more local and diverse contractors for small construction projects.

On Feb 27, CWU signed an interagency agreement with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) to implement a new procedure to accomplish small campus construction projects. Called Job Order Contracting (JOC), the new process allows CWU to accomplish multiple small construction projects under a single, competitively bid DES contract.

According to Kurt Lohide, CWU’s associate vice president of operations, the university will partner with DES to use its five regional JOC general contractors for construction projects values at less than $350,000. The projects can be awarded directly to the JOC contractor, bypassing the usual bidding process. This, in turn, saves the university time and money.

Lohide stated that another major benefit of JOC contracting is that it promotes the hiring of more local, minority- and female-owned businesses. While explaining the new procedures during a meeting of the CWU Board of Trustees on Thursday, Lohide pointed out that DES hires their regional contractors based in part on the strength of that particular contractor’s diverse hiring strategy.

Since CWU also values a contractor’s ability to utilize local and minority owned business, Lohide pointed out “the end result is that a contractor’s ability to incorporate local and diverse hiring into their projects will factor into their receiving future work from CWU.”

“In addition, the university expects to derive many other benefits from utilizing the JOC project delivery method,” Lohide said. “The new procedure will save CWU money since contractors are required to use standard unit pricing for their time and materials. Additionally, the contractor’s profit comes from the amount of work that is awarded, which creates a performance-based incentive that works to the university’s advantage.”

Lohide said an additional positive impact of this change is that university facilities management employees will be freed up from small construction projects and will be able to focus more on routine and preventative maintenance on campus.

Media contact: Richard Moreno, director of content development, 509-963-2714,

— April 3, 2017