WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District hosted more than 130 business owners during the Corps’ ‘Industry Day’ on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center in Walla Walla, Washington.
The day-long event was open to those interested in learning about how to do business with the Corps, upcoming contract opportunities, competing for contracts, or showcasing capabilities.
“It is so important to hold these types of events for a number of reasons. Firstly, we are providing our customers, stakeholders, the public, as well as large and small businesses the best opportunities to learn how to work with and for the federal government. This in turn becomes a true value to our nation and our communities,” said Maj. Gregory Polk, Deputy Commander for the Walla Walla District.
District personnel presented informational briefings, discussed upcoming contracting opportunities and processes, and a panel of District staff members who are frequently involved with reviewing contract proposals answered a wide variety of questions posed by attendees.
“We are a small business in the area, but this is our first time to Industry Day,” said Adam Swedberg, owner of Swedberg Contracting. “I received a lot of really valuable information and was able to network with some of the local large businesses that came out. We weren’t sure what to expect, but after attending I feel I have a better idea of how the process works and how to navigate it,” Swedberg explained.
For many attendees, Industry Day offered the chance to network with other businesses who do work for the Corps.
That small-business to large-business networking can be key to successful federal contract performance. Large businesses which have capacity to perform complex, high-value work often sub-contract with small businesses to perform portions of total scope of work.
“This event also allows small businesses and large businesses that work with, or plan to work with the government, to network, share information and ask imperative questions to the Corps sparking and promoting economic viability,” Polk said.
“This is my first Industry Day with the Corps,” said Jon Schliep, Territory Account Manager, Timken Power Systems. “I am with a large business, and my main reason for being here today is to network with local small businesses. We want to leverage their capabilities with our own staying power to see what the future could bring for the both of us.”
The Walla Walla District awards contracts for construction projects, architect-engineering studies, and supplies and services needed to operate their facilities. These contracting opportunities annually total $90 to $130 million. The district is responsible for managing environmental, hydroelectric, navigation, engineering, construction, emergency management and recreation services within a region covering 107,000 square miles that includes parts of six states. The district operates and maintains six hydroelectric power facilities, four flood-risk-reduction projects and $2.5 billion of infrastructure.
The Walla Walla District’s Contracting Facebook page (www.facebook/com/wallawallacontracting
) will keep prospective attendees updated on future events as they are scheduled and the Small Business website http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Small-Business
. Photos from the Oct. 10, 2018 Industry Day event will also available on the District’s Contracting Facebook page.