In the first six months of 2004, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) helped Georgia companies win $336 million in government contracts – already more than GTPAC’s record for an entire year. According to the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency which sponsors the center, that translates to 7,900 jobs created or saved in Georgia. The previous best year ever was in 2001, when GTPAC-assisted companies won $287 million in contracts.
“This program was initiated by Congress in 1985 and was designed to help each state acquire some of the federal government projects in order to bolster jobs and secure more competition and better products for federal agencies,” notes Zack Osborne, GTPAC program manager.
GTPAC – part of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute – provides no-cost assistance with government procurement to any company licensed to do business in Georgia. GTPAC conducts seminars in Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Rockmart, Savannah and Warner Robins. The center assists companies with all aspects of the federal procurement process, including solicitation analysis, proposal preparation, pre- and post-award counseling, and quality and accounting systems. Procurement counselors also analyze whether or not the company has the potential for government procurement.
Ten procurement counselors work with approximately 1,300 companies in Georgia. While several of these companies are large firms, most are small businesses in accordance with standards established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and include businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. Approximately 57 percent of these businesses are service firms and 23 percent are manufacturing and construction companies.
Over recent years, Georgia Tech procurement specialists have helped AFR & Associates, Inc. – an Atlanta small, disadvantaged business – with securing a federal supply schedule contract, obtaining HUBZone and 8(a) certification (granted to small businesses owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual), and developing budgets and pricing that positioned the firm to win a big contract. AFR recently received a $17 million award from HUD for management and marketing that will create 45 new jobs and retain 18 existing jobs.
“Georgia Tech has assisted me since AFR was approved as an 8(a) firm by the SBA in 1996, and has been instrumental in AFR’s success,” says CEO Tony Richardson. “In addition to helping me with the administrative side of my business, procurement specialists have helped me with the pricing of seven contracts. This includes the $17 million award, which is the largest contract ever approved by HUD in the state of Georgia to manage and market support services for single family real estate.”
Osborne notes that it is the tenacity of clients like Richardson that is ultimately responsible for their success.
“The perseverance of the companies plays a role in winning the awards,” he says. “While our assistance and guidance helps and channels them along the way, their determination and hard work is really what gets the awards.”
Companies are eligible for GTPAC assistance if they are based in Georgia, want to and have the potential to sell to the government, have e-mail or fax capability, and agree to complete a GTPAC client application, a quarterly report and an annual quality survey.
For more information about Georgia Tech assistance in procurement, please contact Zack Osborne (478-953-3155); E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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