Largo, MD – Close to 400 local companies congregated in the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) conference room in anticipation of hearing top executives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Prince George’s County Office of Central Services explain how to tap into the more than $24 billion in procurement opportunities available through these agencies at the EDC’s ‘U.S. Department of Energy Procurement Opportunities Day’. As part of its mission to help grow the County’s commercial tax base, EDC President and CEO Jim Coleman has been instrumental in directly connecting local businesses to resource partners like the Department of Energy and the other 14 federal agencies that call Prince George’s County home.
“Prince George’s County is on fire with development projects, but that’s not all we have to be excited about,” said Coleman. “Having great federal partners like the Department of Energy, who have $24 billion and are looking to buy services and products that are produced right here in Prince George’s County, makes being a local business even more profitable. Ultimately, our mission is to eliminate unemployment in Prince George’s County because it is the right thing to do. The EDC’s federal procurement days help local businesses grow so that they can hire more County residents.”
The EDC has hosted several events like the ‘Department of Energy Procurement Opportunities Day’ to bring local business owners face-to-face with procurement decision makers, many of whom would be very difficult to get a meeting with during the normal course of business. Giving this capacity crowd a glimpse of what the DOE buys and its forecast of contract opportunities over the coming months provided them with a leg up on how to position their companies for growth.
John Hale, III, the former Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business (OSDBU), the agency within the DOE tasked with positioning small businesses to become subprime contractors on major federal procurements, talked about the DOE’s mission regarding energy security, nuclear security, environmental responsibility and enhancing the efforts in scientific discovery and innovation. Through OSDBU, the DOE builds sustainable small businesses that enhance its corporate pipeline and efficiency supply-chain. Mr. Hale also told attendees the DOE bought items such as Engineering Services, Remediation Services, Facilities Support Services, Computer systems Design Services, Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal, Research and Development in Biotechnology and Security Guards an Patrol Services.
“Today was a terrific day at the Economic Development Corporation. We got to explain what the DOE does, but more important, we were able to show businesses how to create wealth and create jobs,” said Hale. “The partnership between the Department of Energy and the EDC has been fantastic. From the ‘Thirsty for Business Thursday’s” to this procurement forum, we are finding talented entrepreneurs in our own backyards. That’s what it is all about. We look forward to partnering again with the EDC throughout 2017.”
The forum also featured the County Office of Central Services, its Supplier Development and Diversity Division (SDDD), as well as former subcontractor and prime contractor for the DOE, Ken Boras who spoke to the quality, expertise and technical support that is needed to be successful in winning government contracts. Roland Jones, Director of the Office of Central Services and Cyndee Phoenix, Executive Director of SDDD talked with attendees about how the agency connects local, small, disadvantaged, minority and veteran owned businesses to resources, contract opportunities, training and development and strategic partnerships. They also talked about the County’s vendor registration and certification policies, the types of commodities the County purchases and what it is expected to purchase in the near future.
“Today was an outstanding event. The continued combination of County, State and federal resources that are being presented to local companies gives an indication to the amount of diligence the County is providing to suppliers,” said Jones. “No one can make excuses about not being knowledgeable, not being exposed or not having the opportunity to network with people in government. Networking forums of this magnitude offer local businesses the opportunity to exchange ideas with decision makers and with fellow suppliers. Efforts made by the Baker Administration to provide people with access to wealth are unmatched by any other jurisdiction in the area.”
Bringing important forums such as the DOE Procurement Opportunity Day to small, local businesses in Prince George’s County would not be possible without the gracious support of companies like PEPCO Exelon, BECO Management and WashingtonFirst Bank. Along with local sponsors Joseph Greenwald and Laake Law, Ve Water and Independent Strategic management Solutions, the local business community in Prince George’s County left the forum well informed and engaged in what they needed to do to become subprime and prime contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy.
“PEPCO is proud to be a corporate sponsor of the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation. Their work helping local, small and diverse business enterprises realize their full potential is critical to strengthening and growing the Prince George’s County economy,” said Donna Cooper, President of the PEPCO Region, PEPCO Holdings. “The more opportunities local businesses have to expand, the more opportunities they have to hire more Prince George’s County residents. We applaud these type of networking events, as they are important reminders of the partnerships that are important to fostering and sustaining our local and regional economies.”
Attendees from Prince George’s County and the surrounding region were delighted to be able to speak freely with the executives from DOE and the Office of Central Services. Several companies had recently relocated or expanded into Prince George’s County, and others were convinced by the end of the forum that Prince George’s County is the best place for them to truly grow their businesses.
“I am so happy that I took the time to come to the EDC’s event today. I am so grateful to the EDC for putting on this type of forum. It is so needed,” said Claretta Rideout, owner and CEO of DeQuan’s Construction, LLC. “Having the opportunity to meet one-on-one with integral people who are really interested in helping us win contracts, provides us with an opportunity to grow. As an out of the area company, we learned how we can be successful moving into the area. As a construction management team growing for 17 years in Baltimore, we are excited about expanding to Prince George’s County and creating new jobs.”
The next EDC event, ‘Maximizing Profitability in 2017!’ will take place on Monday, January 30th and presented by Mass Mutual Financial Group. This forum will show local business owners how to better analyze where their company money is being spent and how to increase profits. The event will be from from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 1801 McCormick Drive, Suite 140, Largo, MD 20772.
Space is limited. Register today by contacting Nicole Edwards (email@example.com) at 301-583-4650. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Nichelle Holmes (firstname.lastname@example.org).