Selling to Uncle Same

Jul. 21st, 2012
Mara Knaub

In a tough economy, two agencies are there to help businesses improve their bottom line. The Small Business Development Corporation’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Yuma Private Industry Council can help companies land government contracts and with workforce training and layoff aversion. During the Greater Yuma Economic Development Corporation Quarterly Investor Luncheon July 10, with the theme “What’s in it for You? Innovative Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line,” representatives shared information on the services they offer to businesses. Winning government contracts With $200 billion in acquisition spending, the government is a coveted customer. Small businesses and businesses owned by women and veterans are in an especially good position. The government’s goal is to award small businesses 23 percent ($46 billion) of the pie. The goal for small disadvantaged businesses is 7 percent ($14 billion). The goal is 5 percent ($10 billion) for women-owned businesses and 3 percent ($6 billion) for veteran-owned businesses. Yuma companies can get a share of the government’s business with help from the Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Center. Customers include the military, prime contractors and federal, state and local government. At the luncheon, Jim Vickers of the Yuma AZPTAC Satellite Office introduced the organization, which has the purpose of expanding the amount of businesses capable of participating in the government marketplace. Congress authorized the Procurement Technical Assistance Program in 1985. It is administered by the Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense. The Yuma location is a satellite for the Glendale PTAC Office, which opened in January with a grant. The office helps local companies identify contractual opportunities with federal, state and/or local governments as well as subcontracting opportunities with prime contractors. The office will locate potential marketing opportunities and assist with bidding opportunities and post-award functions. It will assist in the preparation of registrations and certifications, proposals/bids and financial and contractual forms. PTAC offers guidance relative to quality assurance and production such as specific government requirements and specifications. The center will also educate clients in the areas of government contracting law, policies and procedures and regulations and publications that government procurement. It will also explain the DoD Pilot Mentor-Protégé Program and similar government programs. The Yuma AZPTAC Satellite Office is located at 899 E. Plaza Circle, Suite 2. It can be reached at (928) 782-7774. Help for employers “Businesses are our principal customer,” Mercedes Mendivil, YPIC program administrator, said. “We want to work at the speed of business.” The services YPIC offers to businesses include recruiting/hiring, resume screening and access to business equipment and training facilities. The organization also works with companies facing possible layoffs. “We talk about strategies to avoid layoffs,” Mendivil explained. Employer services include paid internships and on-the-job training for employees. The organization also helps job seekers, training them in a variety of fields that include solar and weatherization, commercial driver’s license, certified nursing assistant, food service management, automotive repair, general office clerical and medical assistant. Working with the National Center of Construction Education and Research, a not-for-profit education foundation, job seekers receive education, training and industry-recognized credentials. NCCER develops training in more than 60 craft areas, offers over 70 assessment exams and has 4,000-plus training locations. YPIC is currently an Accredited Training Sponsor (ATS) candidate, and Arizona Western College and Johnson Controls Inc. serve as training units. The goal of the collaboration is to provide the Yuma County labor force in a variety of career fields with the opportunity to participate in training that will develop or improve job seekers’ knowledge and/or skills, Mendivil said. YPIC has three locations in Yuma County: • The Yuma Career Center is located at 3834 W. 16th St. and can be reached at 329-0990. • The Somerton Career Center is located at 663 E. Main St. and can be reached at 627-9396. • The MLK Career Center is located at 300 S. 13th Ave. and can be reached at 783-9347. For more information, visit the agency’s website at Mara Knaub can be reached at or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub. Read more:

Mara Knaub
Staff Writer
The Sun
Jul. 21st, 2012