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Posted 8/13/2013

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By Randy J. Gon
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Divsion

Small business representatives from all over California learned how to better obtain work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) during the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) – San Francisco Post monthly meeting held at U.S. Coast Guard Island, Calif., Aug. 8.

 As the end of the fiscal year approaches, more than 20 private companies joined officers from the U.S. Coast Guard installation just between Alameda and Oakland to discuss potential Corps’ Small Business contracting opportunities available in the near future with keynote speaker Rick Vrendenberg, USACE San Francisco District, Small Business Deputy.

Nancy Barnes, SAME – SF Post program manager, organized the “match making” event which provided companies a chance to give their ten minute elevator speech on who their company is and what they can do for the Corps; something Vrendenberg appreciates.

“There can be up to 30 different agencies represented at these events and one company may specialize in a specific job while another may need that service,” said Vrendenberg. “It’s all right in one room and I can pair them together.”

There is a lot of market research analysis that goes into awarding military construction (MILCON) and environmental projects in SPD, which spans New Mexico all the way to the Pacific Ocean, but Vrendenberg advocates SAME members inform the Corps of their various certifications such as Service Disabled Veteran or Woman owned.

“If we can determine that there are enough companies with these types of affiliations, then that allows us to set aside projects so they have a better chance to be awarded contracts,” said Vrendenburg.

·         35% of companies are in Historically Underutilized Business or HUB Zones and can gain access to federal contracting opportunities as a small businesses located in distressed, urban and rural communities. Publicizing your business has obtained a HUB Zone certification can lead to

·         USACE can sole source to companies belonging to the 8(a) Business Development Program. If the company is listed as one of these different certifications, then they separate themselves out from the completion seeking USACE contracts.

·         The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) governs everything done in SPD Small Business. SAME members should inform USACE of any certification which gives them distinction. “Put it on your business card,” recommends Vrendenburg.

SAME – San Francisco posted Tips from the Aug. meeting online at http://www.samesanfrancisco.org/event/previous-presentations/2013-2/aug-usace-small-bus/

The next Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) – San Francisco Post meeting will showcase a “Meet the Chiefs” social with Lt. Col. John K. Baker, San Francisco District and SAME – SF Post Vice President. For more information visit http://www.samesanfrancisco.org/

The USACE South Pacific Small Business page can be found at http://www.spd.usace.army.mil/BusinessWithUs/SmallBusiness.aspx