The Crusader Newspaper Group

New policy at airport is more inclusive

The Gary/Chicago International Airport (GCIA) Authority recently approved a new procurement policy for the airport, reflecting a continued focus on engaging local businesses and residents to serve as contractors and sub-contractors for vending, supplier and worker services.

“Anytime we have work that needs to be done at the airport we want to use local firms, not just to create jobs, but to build a community of stakeholders invested in the success of their airport,” said GCIA Authority Board Chairman Steven Mays.

Under the new procurement policy, GCIA will work to maximize the inclusion of disadvantaged minority, women and veteran-owned business enterprises (D/M/W/VBE) in providing airport services.   Under the policy:

  • It is encouraged at least 20 percent of business enterprises doing business with the airport be D/M/W/VBE and at least 5 percent certified women- or veteran-owned business enterprises.
  • It is encouraged at least 30 percent of business enterprises providing for third party sub-contractors have a significant preexisting presence in the city of Gary.

“This new procurement policy puts in place important framework to maximize the impact the Airport has in the city of Gary and region as an economic engine and job creator,” said GCIA Authority Board Member Denise Dillard, who led the Board’s development of the new policy.  “I thank and applaud everyone who worked on developing this policy and am thrilled the Board has approved it.”

The Airport Authority places a strong priority on local participation in airport procurement activities and the new procurement policy reflects ongoing efforts of Gary Mayor Karen Freeman Wilson and her administration to engage local firms and workers when possible to provide city services.

For example, as part of its procurement to identify an airport-planning firm to update the Airport’s Master Plan Update, the Airport hosted a business expo in March 2016 to allow its three shortlisted firms to meet with local companies capable of providing certain subcontracting services as part of the Master Plan update team.  More than 60 area businesses attended the expo to explore opportunities on responding teams and register with the airport to be considered for future work. Jacobsen|Daniels was selected over two other shortlisted firms based on its significant experience working with airports across the country to develop effective plans for the future and its commitment to local inclusion on the project team.

During consideration of the procurement policy, Board members indicated their desire to regularly review the policy to ensure the Airport is doing all it can to engage local businesses and that the policy remains current with any updates to Indiana state law.

Local businesses interested in being considered for work with GCIA can register on the Airport’s website under “Jobs” at


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