Downtown Little Rock abuzz with Industry Day Activity

Downtown Little Rock was buzzing with activity this week as more than 133 businesses from across the region converged on Philander Smith College for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers annual Industry Days event.

With billions in contracts up for grabs in fiscal year 2020, Industry Days acts as a jumping off point for business owners and contract professionals to learn the steps needed to successfully bid for contracts. Throughout the two-day event, Corps personnel discussed a number of topics including describing the types of work on offer, what it takes to put in a good bid, how to obtain a contract, and how to keep that contract in good standing. The benefit is two-fold: contractors learn how to create better bid packages, allowing the Corps select contractors that will be the best fit for the contract awarded.

“This regional forum is important to us, as we cannot accomplish our mission unless we have qualified, good contractors out here to do the work that needs to be done,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Owen, the commander and division engineer of the Southwestern Division U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “It is a big, important mission for us to encourage small business, to develop and offer opportunities to small businesses,” continued Owen.

Brig. Gen. Paul Owen, commander and division engineer of the Southwestern Division, Corps of Engineers, attended the Little Rock District’s annual Industry Days contracting event, in Little Rock, Ark. Dec. 10 and 11.

Sandra Easter, chief of contracting in the Little Rock District, and her dedicated team of contracting professionals have worked diligently to create a meaningful exchange between hopeful contractors, the Little Rock District, and the Corps of Engineers as a whole. To do this she and her team brought business opportunities from more than thirteen federal agencies, along with representatives from other Corps districts in the Southwester Division, Northwestern Division, and the Mississippi Valley Division to the event.

“We are expecting to expand the competitive landscape of capable firms,” said Easter. “We hope to leave here with firms that have expressed an interest in bidding on projects that we have in FY20. We also use this event as a means of compiling strategic market research to support developing acquisition strategies.”

Sandra Easter, the Little Rock District contracting chief, provided opening comments at the Little Rock District’s annual Industry Days contracting event, in Little Rock, Ark. Dec. 10 and 11.

Ultimately, Industry Days represents opportunity – both for hopeful contractors and the Corps. Not only do the attending businesses get a leg up on how to improve their chances of successfully bidding for a contract, the Corps gets a unique opportunity to discover new and innovative organizations that can provide services for necessary projects, now and in the future.

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