City of Centennial, Jacobs build on each other’s strengths to serve residents best
In Centennial, Colorado, Jacobs works as an extension of the city – not a vendor or contractor, but a full member of the city team. We perform public works, code compliance and facilities and parks maintenance for a community of approximately 110,000 residents and more than 7,000 businesses. During our partnership we’ve collaborated with Centennial to identify goals and objectives, and determined what works and yields the best value.
Jacobs’ Vice President of Operations Management and Facilities Services Steve Meininger shares this story of extraordinary success in one of America’s best cities to live in.
Our partnership with the City of Centennial serves as a model for a successful public-private partnership across the United States. Ten years ago, when CH2M, now Jacobs, first started working with the City, we were among the very first private firms to offer these types of services to a city. Ever since, we’ve fine-tuned and streamlined the model to provide the highest value possible.
We constantly learn from our ongoing support to many cities providing similar services, and improve our approaches to adapt to our customers’ changing needs. Other Jacobs’ clients, like the cities of Johns Creek, Georgia, and Ontario, Oregon, are happy to utilize the wealth of knowledge that comes from our experts who have successfully implemented new services, capabilities and more in other cities around the United States, including Centennial.
Why it works
When Centennial was incorporated in 2001, the new city began with a clean slate and a desire to create a place residents were proud to call home. We knew from the beginning that Centennial’s goal was to be a lean government, partnering with other agencies in the private sector for the majority of delivered services.
“Centennial prides itself on being innovative and doing business differently, which includes innovative partnerships that not only benefit individuals and businesses, but also our community and the environment,” says Centennial Mayor Stephanie Piko. “The partnership the City has with Jacobs has led to the implementation of effective and efficient programs that benefit the citizens of Centennial.”
Faced with the complexity of creating a new public works department in 2007, we began the journey to help achieve the city’s vision of a high-performing public works department that assists in day-to-day operations, while focusing on and attending to the needs of citizens.
Initially, our scope of work for the City was public works. Because of our service achievements, we’ve expanded our work to include code compliance and facilities and parks maintenance – delivering a broad range of services from traffic engineering to snow removal, to code enforcement and maintenance of the city’s award-winning park.
Our ability to draw on a worldwide network of expertise from people and projects makes the Centennial partnership work. And in doing so, we’ve been able to do some pretty cool things with Centennial.
In 2016, we provided the customer contact support for the City of Centennial’s Innovation Team as they, through a partnership with Lyft and others (the Denver South Transportation Management Association/Southeast Public Improvement Metropolitan District, Via Mobility Services and Xerox), introduced the Go Centennial Program to address their first and last mile problem – to get travelers from their origins or destinations to transit stations and vice versa. The model applied an on-demand mobile platform that provided efficient transportation connections for people using public transportation to travel via Lyft to and from the Regional Transportation District’s Dry Creek Light Rail Station and also to travel around Centennial for errands or appointments. We also helped our client become the first ever public-private partnership agency to receive the American Public Works Association accreditation. With more than 22,000 municipal, township and county governments in the U.S., Centennial’s Public Works Department became the 119th accredited public works agency.
What other cities in the “same boat” can learn
Public-private partnerships are typically provided at a lower cost than traditional governments. However, even if it’s not always the least expensive alternative, these partnerships most often yield a higher level of quality and service. And a public-private partnership allows cities to tap into a highly trained and engaged workforce, proven technology, strategy and experience. As a purpose-driven company that infuses greater social, environmental and economic benefits for our clients around the world – we’ve seen it all. And we can help bring the most innovative solutions to a city’s challenges.
“The way our contract is structured, it’s a win-win partnership,” said Craig Faessler, Jacobs’ Centennial project manager. “The client, or city, tells us what they want to accomplish and allows us to determine the best path to reach the outcome desired. This approach empowers the Jacobs team to seek and implement the best and most effective solution. Our staff is highly client-focused, and outstanding dividends are the result.”
As a committed member of the community, Jacobs strives to actively engage and spearhead community events. For instance, late last year we partnered with a Centennial-based craft brewery, Lost Highway Brewing Company, to create Colorado’s first craft beer made from reclaimed wastewater. Also, the Public Works team hosts a Public Works Week event in Centennial annually for the public to shine a light on the types of services offered, give a first-hand look at some of the cool equipment the team uses and answer questions residents may have.
Learn more about the perks of public-private partnerships for cities and public works by visiting https://www.jacobs.com/infrastructure-month.
Steve Meininger currently serves as Jacobs’ Vice President of Operations Management and Facilities Services and formerly led CH2M’s Operations Management Services. His distinguished career with CH2M spanned more than 24 years, and included roles such as senior vice president, project manager and technical advisor, primarily focused in O&M. In addition to his leadership duties, Steve is active in the business and non-profit communities. He is an executive sponsor and serves on the Leadership Council for Water for People, a nonprofit organization, created in part by CH2M, that helps provide water and sanitation for people in developing countries. Steve also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Water Companies. He holds a master of science in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University, and a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.