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Posted 5/4/2016

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Pittsburgh District USACE

Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District partnered with regional government agencies to facilitate the I-79 Development Councils Dynamic Networking for Small Business event in Fairmont, W.Va. April, 27.

As the name of the event dictated it was going to be both dynamic and a chance to network. During the event, attendees had the opportunity to network with presenters, attend working groups related to their field, or a field they may be interested in exploring. Col. Bernard Lindstrom, Pittsburgh District commander, presented the keynote address.

The focus of the event was centered on creating more efficient communication dynamic between small businesses looking to become federal contractors, prime contractors, and working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  By ensuring that all parties are in the room together, bridging the communication gap becomes significantly easier.  

According to Josh Kaufman, Chief contracting officer for Pittsburgh District, “This type of event really helps break down those barriers and facilitate communication between us as the federal government and those small businesses.”  Trying to enter into the federal contracting world can seem like a daunting task, especially given the large scales of money which prime and sub-contractors deal with on a regular basis. However, those that make the leap and do the work which is necessary to find success, are critical to Pittsburgh District’s mission.

The value that small business brings to the district is almost immeasurable according to Sherrie Plonski, Small Business coordinator for the Pittsburgh and Buffalo District. “They are very important to us, and we know that they are our number one source for achieving a lot of our goals, and we are very glad to be in partnership with small business across the district.”

During his keynote address Lindstrom praised the audience in attendance for their support of the event, and for having the courage to be and support small business owners. Saying, “The federal government made a significant investment in this region, with over 6 billion dollars in assets, we have a fiduciary responsibility to the region and the nation to support our partners.”

Lindstrom’s sentiment is key to understanding the overarching goals of Pittsburgh District as it pertains to small business. He continued by saying, having great partners to build the skills and talents of our region is paramount to our success as the Army’s lead civil construction agency.

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