Women and minority-owned businesses attend Terminal One outreach forum

BY Leah Mishkin, Correspondent |

Clarvis Soanes attended Newark Airport’s minority and women-owned business enterprise outreach forum Wednesday. The event was for construction, design, and engineering companies who might be interested in contracting opportunities with the firm chosen to develop the airport’s new Terminal One.

“Sometimes, it’s very difficult for the smaller firms to know who within these major companies they should be calling for opportunities, so we’re very, very excited that they’re going to be able to meet them in person, exchange cards,” said Catherine Cronin, program director of redevelopment at Newark Airport.

Soanes has a family-owned construction company. His two sons are pipe fitters. His grandson joined the team after he finished college.

“My present job right now is at the George Washington Bridge,” Soanes said. “The same thing, piping system.”

Now he has his eyes set on the new domestic terminal that’s in the works for Newark Airport. The roughly 1 million square foot, 33 gate terminal is scheduled to be built adjacent to Terminal A.

“It will not cause impacts to existing customers. It will be state-of-the-art,” said Cronin.

The Port Authority says the project will create more than $1.9 billion in wages and is expected to generate more than $4.6 billion in economic impact on the region.

“I’ve never seen, in my 25 years in the industry, such a great opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses to have access to large projects that are really changing the shape of infrastructure in the whole northeast,” said Emily Hammer of D.I. Group Architecture, a minority-owned business in New Brunswick.

Naomi Glean of WDF Inc. says the candidates at the forum are very eager.

“They are experienced workers. They have great staff, they’ve done great projects in the past already,” she said.

Soanes started as a pipe fitter in 1978, having acquired projects in his portfolio that include the new World Trade Center Tower and the George Washington Bridge. He says he did it because of his sons, and just thinking about his family brought tears to his eyes. He says they’ve been the inspiration behind his success and now they might be working together to create another landmark.

Newark Airport’s Terminal One is scheduled to start site clearing midyear. The Port Authority says it expects the terminal to be fully operational in 2022.