When about 120 contractors and federal employees gathered in North Little Rock in December, the event looked more like a high school reunion than the Little Rock District’s 12th Industry Days event. But that relaxed look and feel did not stop potential contractors from preparing for the coming fiscal year’s work.
“Industry Days allow us to meet with potential contractors and introduce them to our contracting process which allows us to conduct market research,” said Sandra Easter, chief of the contracting division.
The Corps had representatives from Little Rock, Memphis, Fort Worth, Vicksburg, Kansas City districts as well as representatives from the Small Business Administration, National Park Service, General Services Administration, U.S. Forest Service, Army Reserve, Arkansas National Guard, Little Rock Air Force Base and Department of Veteran Affairs.
“Each government representative gave brief overviews of their contracting requirements and participated in a panel discussion with our industry partners,” added Easter.
Attendees received information about $1.4 billion in upcoming fiscal year 2018 projects.
“During the event we also provided training on the basics of government contracting, solicitations, requests for proposals, requests for quotations, proposal writing, joint ventures and source selection,” said Easter.
Each federal agency also had the opportunity to conduct a focus group. These focus groups are designed to provide information about a specific business line or federal agency.
“Our hope during this less formal setting is to provoke two way communication between each of us by providing contractors the opportunity to discuss business opportunities from the project list,” said Easter.
Industry Days provide a valuable forum for both the government and contractors to understand each other’s need to and ultimately provide the best product, on time and on budget.
This type of events is just awesome for my small veteran owned business said Donald McDaniel of Palomar Modular Buildings.
“This type of event allows me to network, which is crucial for a small business,” said McDaniel, “I have the opportunity to talk to various contractors and the federal agencies to see how I can expand my business. I encourage any small business to attend these types of forums and I’m looking forward to next year’s event.”
For more information on Little Rock District’s 2017 Industry Day forum visit https://youtu.be/YTGC9jpGstg.