WATCH | Contractors are jumping at the opportunity to build part of President Trump's border wall.
As a part of President Trump’s hard line against illegal immigration, he has promised to build a wall along the southern U.S. border. A few companies are jumping at the opportunity to cash in.
Trump isn't wasting any time when it comes to building his border wall. He touted the wall in his speech to a joint session of Congress. “We will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border,” Trump announced to Congress last month.
And Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have put a posting on a government website where interested vendors can monitor the latest request for proposals (the way the government outlines what it wants for bids on government projects) for the border wall as well as see other contractors who are interested in the project.
"Hey, you know what? We probably may have a chance to build that wall," Jacob Singh of North America Power & Infrastructure Corporation, a construction company, told Circa. "What's the worst case scenario? Let's work on a concept. Let's put everything together and see what happens."
But it’s not just construction companies that are hoping to win contracts, technology companies also are interested in placing bids.
When explaining what he was bidding to build, Philip Zimmermann of GeoSphere Systems, LLC told Circa, “We don’t build walls, we have the technology to make walls smart.”
Zimmermann's company has developed technology that equips the wall to monitor its surroundings, including attempts by people trying scale, tunnel under or go through it.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) originally expected to get all concept designs submitted by March 20th -- though on March 9th they indicated that that date would be likely moved back. CBP is expected to award multiple contracts for the wall that could cost up to 21.6 billion dollars, according to Reuters.
To date, more than 500 companies signed up to express their interest in bidding. And it's not just large companies-- smaller companies have also signed up in hopes of becoming subcontractors for larger companies who win bids to construct the wall.
Matt Turner of Geomodel, Inc., a firm that does geological surveys, said, “The Government's going to hire quite a few different companies since this is such a big project; there will be a number of prime contractors building this wall. And we just hope to be on one or a number of different teams building this wall.”
Between the construction of the physical wall and the manpower to build it-- there are plenty of jobs to go around.
Economic analyst Michael Montgomery said the wall will create, “about 43,000 jobs" including " a few building the wall, a few making products that go into the wall, and then the rest selling goods and services.”
Since a majority of the jobs are associated with construction, many of them are also temporary.
“The wall is a closed-ended investment. It has no continuing economic impact after it's built, like a road," Montgomery said.
It'll be quite a project.
For now the contractors are hopeful they’ll be selected, giving them access to a piece of that $21 billion construction pie.