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Stimulus Progress Report: Rolling Out the Jobs

By Debra K. Rubin and Pam Hunter, with Bruce Buckley and Tony Illia

North Wind Inc., a $62-million-a-year engineering firm based in Idaho Falls, credits ARRA-funded DOE and state cleanup work with adding at least 30 to 40 positions to its staff of 350, says founder and CEO Sylvia Medina. She credits a mentor-protégé contracting relationship with Bechtel Corp. for a number of DOE cleanup awards, but recently testified before Congress about the difficulties small businesses have in obtaining DOE stimulus contracts. “In some cases, [large management] contractors are actually hiring staff away from small businesses to support their own efforts rather than bidding out project work,” she told a U.S. Senate committee in May.