The financial and consequent construction meltdown of 2008 and 2009 and the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) have shifted the focus from commercial to federal government construction contracting. Companies that perform mostly state, county, city, and commercial construction have seen their work disappear overnight. Under ARRA, the federal government has poured over $275 billion into “off the shelf, ready to go” construction projects and has also distributed billions of dollars to the states to use for other state, county, and local construction projects.

Because so few commercial projects are being built, federal government contracting has become virtually the only game in town. Many construction companies ...

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