City officials welcome the Palestinian Contractors Union visitors to Golden, Colorado.
A professional exchange organized by ICMA and Global Communities allowed three representatives from the Palestinian Contractors Union to learn from established American membership associations.
26 February 2014
Three representatives from the Palestinian Contractors Union (PCU), a professional membership association of contractors, participated in an exchange organized by ICMA with support from Global Communities. Designed to strengthen the construction sector and improve construction quality by building the capacity of PCU, the study tour focused on establishing relationships with other successful membership associations and transparent contracting and procurement practices. An eventful agenda brimming with meetings and presentations with associations and city officials in Washington, D.C., and Golden, Colorado, provided the visitors with opportunities for learning about effective practices and resources that could be useful for PCU.
The city of Golden hosted Adel Badr (PCU vice chairman), Karima Hammouda (PCU finance manager), and Rifaat Hashem (PCU member), and organized meetings that showcased innovative contracting partnerships and effective government procurement practices. Public works director Dan Hartman and city engineer Vince Auriemma explained their procurement policies and procedures, and emphasized the importance of forming a transparent working relationship between city staff and contractors. They revealed their partnership had resulted in a higher quality of work and cost savings, in addition to an increased level of trust that will benefit Golden for many years to come.
The group also met with several other associations, including the Colorado Asphalt Paving Association (CAPA), the Colorado Contractors Association (CCA), and the president and staff of Pinkard Construction. Executive director Thomas Peterson shared CAPA’s strategies for generating revenue, their budget process, and their unique Construction Cost Advisory Index that provides municipalities with information on the price of materials and supplies. The Colorado Contractors Association (CCA) explained their member benefits, information about their apprenticeship program for on-the-job training, and offered advice for creating solid working relationships with board members. Jim Pinkard, president of Pinkard Construction, provided information about the company’s work with city, state, and university clients, and explained how Pinkard arranges pre-construction meetings and initiates early estimates to ensure transparency.
Upon returning to D.C., Badr, Hammouda, and Hashem met with Sean Cruikshank of Clark Construction to tour the newly constructed City Market that houses a Giant grocery store, affordable apartments for senior citizens, market-rate apartments, and a hotel. Cruikshank explained how they are applying for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating, which will reflect Clark Construction’s productive efforts to construct an eco-friendly building.
This exchange allowed PCU to connect with and learn from associations that have faced similar challenges. Now equipped with support and additional knowledge from other associations, Badr, Hashem, and Hammouda will be more prepared to initiate changes for improvement for PCU.
To learn more about this project, visit the Strengthening the Palestinian Contractors Union page. For additional information about ICMA’s other international programs, visit the ICMA International website and the International Development topic area in the Knowledge Network, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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