The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Arizona-Nevada Area Office in Phoenix hosted a Business Opportunities Open House March 9.

The event attracted more than 160 attendees from throughout the region. The open house featured morning and afternoon sessions with a contractor training opportunity; successful bid proposal.

"What I've found since I've been here is, it is so important to get to know our contracting partners and to build teams with them," said Col. Kirk Gibbs, District commander. "We want them to be successful, because if they're successful, we're successful."

The LA District is responsible for planning, engineering, construction, asset management, regulatory, emergency management and environmental services for three Army and eight Air Force installations, interagency and international customers, and the nation's civil water resources infrastructure in the Southwest.

"We're able to bring people together and build relationships," said Eric Ravelli, deputy for the Small Business Program. "The Corps has a mission, we have projects that we need to partner with the small business community and, frankly, the large business community."

In all, the District encompasses an area of 226,000 square miles across Southern California, southern Nevada, a slice of Utah and all of Arizona.

"In fiscal year 2016, there were $448 million in total contracts awarded," added Ravelli. "Of that, over $321 million in contracts were with small businesses, roughly 72 percent of contract awards."