By Kristen M. Daum
Every day, more than 200 workers with Peckham, Inc., are responsible for cleaning,
disinfecting and otherwise scouring millions of square feet of office space that the
state of Michigan owns in the Lansing area.
From the Michigan Hall of Justice in downtown Lansing to state-owned buildings in
Dimondale and Grand Ledge, their janitorial work is just one example of the more than
$2 billion in contracts that the state has with companies based in mid-Michigan.
Businesses in Greater Lansing reap the benefits of being close to the capital city and helping the state of Michigan function — whether it’s supplying ammunition for state police and corrections officers or providing dental insurance to tens of thousands of state workers.
“With Lansing and this region being the hub of state government, it’s obviously an economic development driver in many ways,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
A Lansing State Journal analysis found that, as of Aug. 1, businesses in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties were handling at least 140 multi-year contracts for state services, worth about $2.2 billion altogether.
Delta Dental of Michigan has the largest contracts with the state of any company in the tri-county area, the State Journal found. The Okemos-based insurer has two five-year contracts with the state — worth a combined $890 million — to provide dental insurance to the state’s 50,000 workers and numerous retirees.
“Being able to offer dental benefits to state employees is something we are proud of,” spokeswoman Sarina Gleason said. “These types of contracts help us continue to invest dollars and resources back into the state and local communities.”
Delta Dental employs about 500 people at its Okemos Road headquarters and another 200 elsewhere in Michigan, Gleason said.
“From a business standpoint, we greatly appreciate how much having the state as a customer allows us to better serve our customers and our communities,” Gleason said.
Contracts typically cover several years and their valuation represents the maximum amount the state is willing to pay a contractor. Most often the state pays less than the listed amount, state purchasing officials said.
Current contracts with mid-Michigan businesses range from Delta Dental’s multimillion-dollar deals to a contract for pest-control worth nearly $11,000, not including contracts that prequalify businesses for future projects, the State Journal found.
Peckham Vocational Industries, a nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities, is among the mid-Michigan companies that have a sizable deal with the state.
Peckham was awarded a $16 million, four-year contract to provide provide janitorial services for state facilities in the Lansing region. According to the contract, that covers more than 4.5 million square feet of office and warehouse space at 43 sites, including the state office buildings near the Capitol.
The contract with the state has extra significance for Peckham, because it’s an opportunity for the organization to provide more jobs to individuals with disabilities, Peckham Vice President Jo Sinha said.
“These skilled and trained individuals come to work each day full of pride about their work and their ability to be independent and contribute to taking care of facilities where hundreds of Lansing residents work each day,” Sinha said. “To them, this job means a paycheck and the knowledge that what they do is important and valued.”
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