The efforts of the Seneca Nation to diversify its economy beyond casinos and cigarettes appears to be gaining traction. A Seneca construction business just landed an $18.5 million contract to design and build an Army Reserve center in Schenectady.
Here is a press release announcing the contract:
Seneca Firm Wins $18.5 Million Army Contract
SCMC to build counter-terrorism Army Reserve center in Schenectady
ALLEGANY TERRITORY, Salamanca NY May 8, 2012 – SCMC LLC, a Seneca Nation of Indians business, won a contract for $18.5 million to design and build a U.S. Army Reserve Center in Schenectady, NY.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently said in a news release the center is for “state-of-the-art, high security military and counter-terrorism training.”
“This is a proud achievement for our Nation, the company and our people,” said Seneca Nation President Robert Odawi Porter. “This is an example of how the Nation is diversifying its economy, broadening its construction expertise and winning competitive national contracts.
“I also want to emphasize that the revenue and profits from this work, while supporting hundreds of New York construction workers, will return to Western New York for reinvestment.”
SCMC opened for business in May 2008 and has developed core competencies as a construction manager, general contractor and program manager specializing in vertical construction; infrastructure, including water and waste water; rehabilitation, renovation and demolition. SCMC provides construction, construction management and program management services to federal, state and local governments.
“This is a major win for our company and it demonstrates the qualifications and expertise of our people,” said SCMC President and CEO Odie Brant Porter. “This shows without a doubt that a Seneca-run business can compete in this field against the heavy hitters and come out on top. That bodes well for the future.”
Congress authorized the project, which will in part be administered out of West Point, Dec. 15, 2011, allocating $20 million. The money is for design and construction of a 60,000-square-foot center on three acres of the Niskayuna Commerce Park on Hillside Avenue in Schenectady.
The center will have a training building, a vehicle maintenance shop, a library, a learning center, a weapons simulator and a fitness area for 12 reserve units from the Capital District.
It’s expected to create 200 construction jobs and is due for completion in October 2013.
More About The Seneca Nation of Indians
The Seneca Nation of Indians, one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee [Iroquois] Confederacy, continues to live on its aboriginal lands in Western New York, including sovereign territories in Niagara Falls and Buffalo where the Nation operates resorts. The Senecas’ long history includes passing on constitutional and governmental traditions used by founders of the United States like Benjamin Franklin. Historically a warrior nation, the Seneca Nation traditionally controlled trade and protected the Western territories, earning the title “Keeper of the Western Door.” The Nation’s five sovereign territories are comprised of 31,095 acres along the Allegany River and the Southern Tier Expressway, known as the Allegany Territory; 22,011 acres along Cattaraugus Creek near Lake Erie known as the Cattaraugus Territory; one square mile in Cuba, called the Oil Spring Territory; 30 acres in Niagara Falls, and 9 acres in Buffalo. The Allegany Territory contains the City of Salamanca within its boundaries. Tens of thousands of acres of land in southern New York and northern Pennsylvania were taken from the Nation when the federal government built the Kinzua Dam and forcibly evicted Senecas from their land in the early 1960s. The Nation today operates a $1.1 billion economy that employs more than 6,000 people, native and not.