On March 20, the Department of Defense (DOD) released its expenditure plan for the projects to be funded with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law in mid-February by President Obama. Of the $780 billion total recovery package, the Associated General Contractors of America estimates that the bill includes more than $145 billion for construction, most of which must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2010. Of that segment, approximately $7.4 billion will go to the DOD, largely for projects that are located at Defense installations spread across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Guam and Puerto Rico). (click here to see Figure)

Earmarked through the end of 2013, the plan includes $2.3 billion in military construction projects. The plan also contains $3.4 billion for nearly 3,000 facility repair and improvement projects that will immediately generate additional employment in communities around Defense installations.

In an effort to create jobs and jump-start the economy, the DOD plans to execute its funds as quickly as possible. Due to the size and scope of this work, many small- to mid-sized electrical contracting firms qualified to do government work could ultimately compete for subcontracts in the following areas:

  • $3.8 billion for facility infrastructure investments to upgrade DOD facilities.

  • $2.1 billion for military construction, including $1.3 billion for hospitals.

  • $0.4 billion to repair and modernize military medical facilities.

  • $0.1 billion for additional construction projects, including housing for the troops and their families.

  • $0.6 billion for a temporary expansion of the Homeowner's Assistance Program (HAP) benefits for private home sale losses of both DOD military and civilian personnel.

  • $0.3 billion to develop near-term energy-efficient technologies.

  • $0.1 billion for the Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP).

To view the entire plan, go to www.defenselink.mil/recovery/plans_reports/2009/march/Final_ARRA_Report_to_Congress-24_Mar_09ver2.pdf.