Goldbelt Incorporated officials discussed overall growth at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday afternoon — both nationally and here at their home base in Juneau.
Several officials from the Native for-profit corporation, including CEO Elliot “Chuck” Wimberly expressed pride in the company’s growth, most specifically in a large contract proposal that is in the works with the federal government to do human resources work with the U.S. Army.
Two years ago Goldbelt formed a partnership with seven other subcontractors to work on a proposal for a $5.4 billion federal contract, the largest they have ever proposed. Wimberly said the corporation historically only dealt with contracts up to $150 million. The 700-page document was drafted in a 26-month long process. For reference, the sales cycle in the federal market is historically only about 18 months, he said. But the government kept coming back with suggestions for this contract, which extended the process.
“I am fairly confident in saying Goldbelt will be successful in [this] award,” Wimberly said.
But the decision won’t be made until Dec. 18. If awarded, the proposal would generate about 150 million in new revenue for Goldbelt over the next 10 years.
While most of the economic growth is coming from the federal contracting sector of the company, Board Chairman Ben Coronell also mentioned a new boat they are adding to the Goldbelt Transportation fleet, which shuttles workers to and from Kensington mine.
“It’s meant to back up our current boat the Majestic Fjord, which is about 21 years old,” said Wimberly. “We need a larger boat with more capacity.”
The vessel is being built in Homer, and Wimberly projects it will be ready for use in August 2019. Goldbelt also provides security for the mine.
Wimberly was excited to add to the fleet of boats, and said that he thinks the growth in Juneau is mimicking what they are doing on the east coast in terms of operations.
He also mentioned development of West Douglas as a longer-term project that will contribute to Goldbelt’s growth in Juneau.
“We’ve had, since the late 80s, a development land plan for that area,” Wimberly said. “We’re still trying to address financially how we’re going to develop these things.”
Most likely, development will be centered around a deep water port, he said.
“We bring the money home to Alaska,” said Katherine Eldemar, vice chair of the board. “Others come here, do business, and then they leave. But Goldbelt is here to stay. I was born here and I’m going to die here.”
• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.