TDM Contracting was only a month old when it won its first job, an $8.2 million contract to build the Harmony School of Innovation, a publicly financed charter school that opened last fall in San Antonio, reports the New York Times. It was one of six big charter school contracts TDM and another upstart company have shared since January 2009, a total of $50 million in construction business. Other companies scrambling for work in a poor economy wondered: How had they qualified for such big jobs so fast?

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