LOS ANGELES - More than 150 business representatives attended the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District's annual Business Opportunities Open House Oct. 9 at the District's downtown LA headquarters.The event came on the heels of a record fiscal year for the District, with about 730 contracts awarded worth more than $3.1 billion for a wide variety of projects, including southern border barrier construction, Veterans Affairs health facilities' construction and Los Angeles County Drainage Area operations and maintenance.Small business representatives engaged with more than a dozen of the District's program and project managers in order to learn about opportunities to work with the Corps in fiscal year 2020. The open house also allowed business representatives to introduce their capabilities to the Corps.The connections made and information shared at the event are essential to the District's success, said Eric Ravelli, deputy of the District's Small Business Program."Our staff gets to meet highly experienced businesses that may not have had a chance to work with our District," Ravelli said. "The BOOH is one important event to grow our industrial base."Also attending was Col. Aaron Barta, commander of the Los Angeles District, who had the opportunity to meet and chat with several of the business representatives, some of whom had not done work with the District."Several business representatives commented that this forum both helped them gain an understanding of how to be more competitive for government contracts and what other businesses they can partner with," Barta said.The open house was the largest one attended to date and provided an excellent opportunity for businesses to connect with the District's program managers and leadership, Ravelli said. The District hosts the event semi-annually - once a year in Los Angeles and again in the spring in its Arizona office."Often the best part of (these events) is the sidebar networking between the speeches and training," Ravelli said. "The BOOH is quintessential networking and a vital part of business development."The District forecasts continued opportunities for contractor work on southern border barrier construction, VA medical facilities' construction and design work for modifications to Whittier Narrows and Prado dams, as well as continued operations and maintenance projects across the District's 226,000-square-mile area of responsibility in Southern California, Arizona and portions of Nevada and Utah.Businesses interested in opportunities with the District can learn more by visiting its website at https://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Small-Business-Program/.The LA District is responsible for planning, operations, engineering, construction, real estate, 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.