OWCB, created in August 2011, is a formal partnership between O’Neill Construction Group, a registered MWESB firm, and Walsh Construction Co. The partnership co-exists with its parent companies, builds on both companies’ strengths, facilitates opportunities to connect more deeply with MWESB firms, and provides O’Neill more exposure to processes and procedures for success on larger projects. Since its inception, OWCB has completed seven projects, and has three in preconstruction.

O’Neill/Walsh Community Builders (OWCB) was honored by the City of Portland “for their efforts in supporting equity in workforce and contracting on City, Portland Housing Bureau and PDC projects”. OWCB was among eight contractors recognized during the City Council meeting, with awards presented by Mayor Charlie Hales and the City Council.

OWCB earned the recognition for their efforts on the Beech Street Apartments/Center for Hope & Recovery project, which includes Lifeworks NW’s 36-bed Project Network and the 32-unit Home Forward Beech Street Apartments. OWCB served as general contractor on the two buildings, which were designed by Holst Architecture. The project’s unique set-up allows patients to transition from the Project Network substance abuse treatment center to Home Forward’s drug- and alcohol-free permanent housing within walking distance of their outpatient treatment. Beech Street Apartments is reserved for graduates of substance abuse treatment programs. Residents have access to a multipurpose room and computer stations to assist them with job training and continuing education, and to on-site resident support services staff. The project, which aims to be a model for both social and environmental sustainability, achieved LEED for Homes Multi-Family Platinum. OWCB surpassed the goal of 20% MWESB on the project and the 10% Workforce Training and Hiring Apprenticeship and Diversity goals.

“How we build a project is as important to us as what we build,” said Mike Andrews, Director of Development and Community Revitalization for Home Forward. “Involving minority and women owned business, and employing low income people during construction are at the core of our basic development program. O’Neill/Walsh Community Builders is a leader among general contractors in creating opportunities for business and people. “