The 2008 flooding in Iowa has led to a construction boom at the University of Iowa, enabling out-of-state contractors to compete with local workers. Despite the added competition, Iowa companies are still doing the majority of work at the university, the Daily Iowan reported.
As a state agency, the university is required to publicly bid all of its construction projects and select the lowest bidder, Rod Lehnertz, the director of planning, design, and construction at the University of Iowa Facilities Management told the Iowan.
It is unusual for an out-of-state contractor to provide the lowest bid, but is becoming more common because local contractors have an increasing amount of work and are not bidding on as many projects.
Out of 221 construction projects currently underway at the university, 86 percent are held by Iowa contractors and 14 percent are contracted from out-of-state. But even out-of-state contractors are more likely to hire local crews because it is more economical.