Category Archives: Little Rock District

Hurricane Maria Deployment Awards Presentation

Among the many missions that the Corps undertakes each year, disaster relief is among them. The Corps deploys personnel to assist with relief efforts in times of crises. Oftentimes, these missions involve relief efforts pertaining to but not limited to hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. Team members work 12 hour days seven days a week for 30 days at a time, with some deployments lasting more than 90 days.

During 2017 and 2018 a catastrophic hurricane pummeled the Caribbean (Maria) causing this region to suffer severe damage, with aftereffects still being felt in 2019. As a result, personnel were needed to assist with various recovery missions. Today, some of the deployed employees are being recognized for their efforts.

The Little Rock District deployed 53 team members to assist with roofing missions during Hurricane Maria.

Deployed employees being recognized for their efforts during Hurricane Maria.

Amber Turnage, Benjamin Bremer, and Mark Harris received the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for their contributions to the roofing missions.

Ryan King, Telia Mahomes and David Howell received the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for their contributions to the roofing missions.

Randy Devenport received the Superior Civilian Service Award for his efforts as a local government liaison.  Devenport deployed multiple times for over 90 days.

Emergency deployments are a great opportunity for employees to serve individuals and communities impacted by natural disasters and gain valuable experience outside of their normal USACE job,” said Tony Hill, the Little Rock District’s supervisory emergency manager.

The experience gained in 2017 with Hurricane Maria proved invaluable as the entire SWL Roofing Team deployed  to Hurricane Michael in Florida this past year.

“The hours they were working and how hard everybody was working was just humbling. I was so proud to go down there and see the great things our team was doing. It was an outstanding job,” said Maj. Wade Welsh deputy commander of the Little Rock District.


Millions of Dollars in Contracts to be awarded in 2019

It’s that time again! The Innovation Hub in downtown Little Rock was abuzz last week with more than 240 people representing 180 plus businesses from across the region, for the annual Industry Days contracting event. Industry Days have been a boon periodically over 13 years for the Little Rock District. This informational and business exchanges symposium gives the District an opportunity to educate contractors on the basics of the contracting process.

Some of the elements discussed are the types of work offered, what it takes to put in a good bid, how to obtain a contract, how to stay in good standing, and how to get compensated. Industry Days is important since it allows the Corps to receive better submissions of bid packages, ensuring that they can select contractors who will be the best fit for the contract being awarded.

Contractors listening in to a presentation at Industry Days.

Given this event has been held numerous times over the last decade, it might be a challenge to generate continued interest year after year. However, the Little Rock team has been able to stave off stagnancy by continually offering new and varied educational content in tandem with business opportunities for contractors to obtain partnerships with other contractors.

According to Sandra Easter chief of contracting, “There is a diverse group that comes to Industry Days each year that are solely looking for partnerships. Attending this event allows them to have the opportunity to obtain those coveted partnerships. This is just one of the many ways we are able to create interest year after year.”

Among one of the primary reasons that Little Rock’s Industry Days are so successful is due to a dedicated core team made up of 12 individuals, whose main goal is to create a meaningful exchange between contractors and the Corps. This is achieved by the team securing multiple business opportunities from other agencies. Additionally, the symposium featured representation from other Corps districts in the Southwestern Division, Northwestern Division, and Mississippi Valley Division in order to maximize these opportunities while the contractors are in attendance.

A representative from Kansas City Division meeting with contractors.

Annually, there are over 1,000 contract actions processed. And more than a billion dollars in contracts are up for grabs for fiscal year 2019, so attending Industry Days acts as a jumping off point for contractors to learn the steps needed to succeed in bidding on these contracts.

Col. Robert Dixon, the commander of the Little Rock District had this to say about the event, “Industry Days is all about opportunity, networking, and learning. Government contracts can be quite difficult to work with at times because they involve a maze of rules and regulations that can be challenging to navigate. However, USACE and its partners at the Small Business Administration and the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center are here to help.  Whether you are a big business with lots of experience or a small business just starting out, navigating the government acquisition process is a team sport, and this forum is a great place to find teammates.”

The two day event has been fruitful for contractors and the Corps alike. It has allowed contractors the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to construct well-tailored bids and the Corps to get the best people for the job. It’s a win, win!