By Laura Levering, Fort Gordon Public Affairs OfficeJune 27, 2014
FORT GORDON, Ga (June 27, 2014) - As Fort Gordon grows over the next four years, the installation and surrounding communities will see exponential growth. One result of that growth is a rising interest in business opportunities.
Fort Gordon's Mission and Installation Contracting Command held its first Acquisition Forecast Open House June 23 at Alexander Hall. The event was an opportunity for MICC officials to give small business owners advance notice of contracts the installation needs to fill in the coming months and years ahead.
"Our intent was to try and attract small business owners … the people who don't know how to get started in government contracting and want to know what's available to them," said Lt. Col. Sylvia Farmer, acting director for MICC. "We are dedicated to the local community and want to provide as much openness as possible so that they all have a chance to compete."
Small businesses play a large role on Fort Gordon. According to Nelson Keeler, deputy to the commanding general, there have been 585 contract actions valued at $65 million so far this fiscal year. Of that, $59 million was eligible for small businesses; $28 million was actually awarded to them. There are currently 245 contract actions valued at about $168 million that need to be awarded by the end of the fiscal year.
"I'm very pleased to see that greater than 40 percent of our contracting activities so far have gone to small businesses," Keeler said.
Engaging small business owners benefits contractors and businesses by providing competition and ensuring the best qualified employees are hired.
The event was also a chance for small business owners to network and learn about requirements for the acquisition process, which can be daunting for small businesses lacking expertise.
"In a small business, you are the manager, you are the worker, you are the team lead, and you're preparing proposals," Farmer explained. "We're here to assist and help set them up for success in the acquisition process."
Representatives from the Georgia Procurement Technical Assistance Center and Small Business Administration Atlanta District were among several agencies giving presentations and answering questions.
The open house attracted a substantial number of business owners for its first event.
Those who were unable to attend or who have questions should contact Rufus Gates, a small business specialist with Fort Gordon's MICC. Rufus can be reached at (706) 791-1817 or by email at email@example.com.
"Please get in touch with us," Gates said. "We don't know yet exactly how much contracting support we're going to be providing for the (Cyber Center of Excellence), but when we are called on, we will be ready … and we'd like to have our small businesses engaged, too."