With major development projects for new government buildings, school facilities and public transportation infrastructure underway in Long Beach, where there is an abundance of needs for contract services, bidding opportunities for vendors and contractors are plentiful.


For construction work and services sought by the City of Long Beach, requests for proposals (RFPs) are issued on a regular basis. Under authority of the city charter, the city purchases most of its materials, supplies, equipment and services through a centralized purchasing system managed by a city purchasing agent.


Purchases are carried out through a competitive bidding process, which is not subject to negotiations and where awards are made to the lowest responsible bidder that meets the bid specifications, according to the city’s purchasing division. All contractors doing business with the city are required to have a valid business license in Long Beach.

Contractors and vendors attend a recent contractor outreach fair at McBride High School to receive information on how to pre-qualify to bid on Long Beach Unified School District renovations and construction projects funded through the Measure K bond measure passed by voters in 2008. There are many, many opportunities for businesses to bid on local projects for the City of Long Beach, County of Los Angeles, State of California and the federal government, in addition to educational institutions. The article below provides valuable information and websites to get you started. (Photograph by the Business Journal’s Larry Duncan)


To support local job growth, the city has implemented a local preference provision for Long Beach-based businesses on bids for materials, equipment, supplies and non-professional services not exceeding $100,000. Under the provision, Long Beach businesses have the option to have their bid price reduced by 10 percent to make their bid more competitive. The local preference provision, however, applies only to bids paid for with local funds and doesn’t apply to bids with state, federal or tidelands funding.


The city also participates in the state’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program and the federal government’s small business enterprise (SBE) program to encourage small, local and minority-owned firms to participate in the bidding process.


Jason MacDonald, a certified public procurement officer (CPPO) and the city’s purchasing and business services manager, told the Business Journal that the city is required to perform a good faith effort to encourage small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned and Long Beach firms to compete in the bidding process.


Under a citywide project labor agreement (PLA) passed last year, the city also encourages local Long Beach residents to be hired first within construction industry projects above $500,000.

Vendors and contractors can obtain a current list of the city’s bids by visiting www.longbeach.gov/purchasing. Businesses can register for free and receive notifications on bidding opportunities through the city’s online vendor portal at www.planetbids.com.


The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), meanwhile, has bidding opportunities for about a dozen different construction projects being funded through Measure K bonds totaling $1.2 billion that voters approved in 2008. In accordance with state law, contractors are required to be prequalified with LBUSD.


Projects already underway include: the construction of Browning High School, a new small “thematic” high school being built for students interested in studying tourism, recreation, hospitality and public transportation fields; major upgrades to Wilson High School and Polytechnic High School auditoriums; and a $143 million ongoing renovation to Jordan High School. Upcoming projects include a $40 million renovation to Renaissance High School for the Arts at 235 E. 8th St. in Downtown Long Beach.


For a list of LBUSD projects out for bid, visit www.lbusd.k12.ca.us/District/measurek/ or call LBUSD’s Facilities Development and Planning Branch at 562/997-7550.


Bidding opportunities for construction and professional services are also available at local colleges and universities. For projects related to Long Beach City College, visit www.lbcc.edu/contractsmgmt. For projects related to California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), visit www.daf.csulb.edu.


The County of Los Angeles provides opportunities for local bids and contracts online at https://camisvr.co.la.ca.us/lacobids/. To register, visit the county’s vendor self-service portal at https://lacovss.lacounty.gov/webapp/VSSPSRV11/AltSelfService or call vendor service relations at 323/267-2725.


The State of California Department of General Services Procurement Division (DGS-PD) last year introduced a new online portal, called Cal eProcure, available at www.caleprocure.ca.gov, which replaced BidSync. Businesses that haven’t already registered with the state as an existing   supplier, must register online. For information on accessing training about the state’s procurement process, visit www.fiscal.ca.gov/training-academy/StatewideTraining.html.


Procurement services for the United States government are available through the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the U.S. government established in 1949 to help manage and support functions of federal agencies. For federal courthouses, buildings, land ports of entry and other facilities in Long Beach, which is located in the West Los Angeles region of California (Pacific Rim Region 9), visit www.gsa.gov.