Archive for the ‘Contracting’ Category

Small businesses a vital part of the team

December 12th, 2011

Maj. Gen. Merdith W.B. (Bo) Temple addresses the audience at the 2011 SAME Small Business Conference in Washington, D.C.

Did you know that small businesses in the U.S. represent 99 percent of all employer firms, and employ about half of all private sector employees? Small businesses have generated 65 percent of the net new jobs over the past 17 years, and hire 43 percent of high tech workers, including scientists, engineers, computer programmers and others.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) understands the importance of small businesses. In Fiscal Year 2011, 42.5 percent of all USACE contract obligations were awarded to small businesses at a total value of $8.1 billion. I am very proud that our teams not only met but exceeded our assigned goals this year in every category, including awards to Small Disadvantaged, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, Women-Owned and HUBZone businesses.

Recently, Corps leaders and our hard-working acquisition professionals, as well as their counterparts from other Department of Defense (DOD) agencies, participated in the Society of Military Engineers’ annual Small Business Conference for DOD Engineering, Construction and Environmental Programs. This event and others like it offer small businesses vital information and training to prepare them to work with the government, while allowing us to learn how their companies can help the Corps serve the military and the Nation.

If you take a look back at what the Corps has accomplished over the past year, you will see clearly the importance of our small business and industry partners. After five years of intense effort, we met our commitments to deliver $11 billion of Base Realignment and Closure projects to our military customers and provide 100-year risk reduction to the citizens of New Orleans with the massive $14 billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Our teams were on the ground this year helping communities recover from tornadoes and hurricanes and managing historic flooding throughout much of the country. Where the Corps has served our Nation, small businesses have played a vital role. The same is true overseas, where we are reaching out and working with local contractors in Europe, Asia and Afghanistan to build Host Nation Capacity.

It takes the whole team – USACE and our federal partners, state and local agencies, tribal nations, special interest groups, academia and industry – to deliver sustainable engineering solutions and the Small Business community is a very important part of our success.

Afghanistan, Civil Works, Contingency Operations, Contracting, Emergency Response, Gulf Coast Recovery, Iraq, Military Programs, Partnership, Small Business

Depending on Small Business

December 13th, 2010

President Obama has called small business the “backbone of our economy.” At the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we recognize the immense value that small businesses offer our Nation by creating jobs — they employ 50% of U.S. workers — and energizing local communities. We greatly depend on small businesses to help us provide value to the Nation through any number of projects and programs that support our military and civil works missions at home and in 39 nations around the world.

Last week, we were proud to participate in the Society of American Military Engineers’ Small Business Conference near Dallas, Texas. It gave us a chance for us to thank the small business community for the hard work they’ve done for our Nation this past year and hear from them what we can do to help make it easier to serve.

In 2010, they provided our Nation a tremendous value by executing more than $9.7 billion on USACE projects worldwide, including nearly $900 million of which was executed by small businesses owned by our disabled veterans. That’s building strong!

But these contracts are more than numbers on a ledger. They represent the innovation and determination of small business owners to help strengthen our Nation’s infrastructure and economy by developing and implementing environmentally sustainable solutions, constructing flood risk management projects, and developing programs that aim to energize our Nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math, to name just a few.

Small business are vital to meeting the engineering demands of our Country. We need them to continue to thrive so that they can share their expertise, ingenuity and energy to help build our Country STRONG!


Contracting, Corps Projects, Employment, Infrastructure, Small Business ,

Supporting Our Wounded Warriors

October 16th, 2009

I am unbelievably proud of the Army’s commitment to taking care of our Wounded Warriors. As the father of a Wounded Warrior – and a friend to many more, I know it’s critical that we always remember, support and encourage these brave men and women, and honor their sacrifice.

There are a couple of different ways that we get to do that here at USACE. For one, we open our doors to Warriors in Transition who are still under treatment, so that they can work and still contribute to the mission, without being too far from their medical appointments. We’ve had a couple of terrific Soldiers come through headquarters.  They remind you how remarkable our Soldiers really are, and how much spirit – how much grit – they’ve got. We are also actively hiring wounded warriors who are transitioning out of an active duty role into civilian life.

This is a rock-climbing wall at Walter Reed Medical Center's Military Advanced Training Center, a facility we built in 2007 with world-class technology designed to help amputees returning from combat

This is a rock-climbing wall at Walter Reed Medical Center's Military Advanced Training Center, a facility we built in 2007 with world-class technology designed to help amputees returning from combat

Another way we try to help is something that we’re getting better and better at every day: awarding contracts to small businesses owned by Service Disabled Veterans (SDVs). As we just crossed into the new fiscal year, we’re now getting all the final numbers for fiscal 2009, and I am proud to say we broke our FY08 record of $543 million in contracts to SDVs,  by awarding $741 million this year.  A new pool and academy record!!  Not a bad jump, I’d say.

That $741 million represents about 2.81% of our total contract dollars – which is huge for us.   We’re bound and determined to crack the 3% mark for next year.

Contracting, Employment, Small Business , , , , , ,

The Stimulus

August 21st, 2009

We continue to focus on executing our role in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – also known as the “Stimulus Bill.”  That’s one of the major elements of the ‘unprecedented’ workload I wrote about a few weeks ago, with $4.6 billion appropriated to us for Civil Works, another $2.9 billion in Military Programs, and $.8 billion more in our International and Interagency Services mission (providing technical assistance to non-Department of Defense (DoD) federal agencies, state and local governments, tribal nations, etc.).

Now that we’ve had a few months to get our arms around it, we’re really putting that money to good use as intended in the legislation.  It’s great for jobs and the economy, and it’s really great for the nation’s infrastructure.

We’ve already obligated 23 percent of the money for Civil Works projects, more than $1 billion!  That’s going to fund some much-needed projects around the nation, like dredging to deepen navigation channels, critically needed operation and maintenance, and important environmental projects.

On the Military Programs side of the house, we’ve obligated $221 million to begin to address a wide range of projects that will help to ensure that our servicemembers and their families are provided with the quality facilities, housing and care that they so richly deserve. And so far, our total International and Interagency Support Program obligations to date total $23.5 million.

So you can see, we’re getting that stimulus money out there! These obligation numbers are increasing with every week – at a very fast pace!  By the end of the year, we expect to have 2/3rds of our ARRA funds awarded.

We’re moving quickly to get this money into the hands of the people who will create jobs, but we’re also moving efficiently to ensure that we make the best use of the taxpayer dollars we’ve been entrusted with in the Recovery Act. We’re “getting ‘er done” right!

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Contracting , ,

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

June 9th, 2009

I had the honor of representing USACE at an event for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Minority Institutions at Howard University here in Washington, DC recently. They were honoring “top supporters” – organizations, agencies and companies that contribute significantly to HBCUs.

The way that we contribute is really interesting. We have a certain amount of money allocated to us each year that is specifically to use with educational facilities, to have them do research or design work, things like that for us. This challenges the students with real world experience, helps us to “build the bench” of the future engineer workforce, and helps us keep costs down, as well.

The Army aims to have 13 percent of that education money go to HBCUs. And even though they still have to compete to get it (we can’t set it aside for them, legally), we’ve already surpassed that goal.

Not only was USACE among the “top supporters,” but they put my picture on the cover of this month’s US Black Engineer magazine! (I thought it was going to be a small picture in the lower corner of the cover!!) Check it out by clicking here.

I’m really passionate about this effort, because it’s essential in building diversity in engineering, which I know will make us a better, stronger Corps of Engineers.

One other cool tid-bit I got from this event – did you know that Howard University was the first institution to offer an engineering degree to African Americans?

It was a GREAT day, indeed.

Contracting, Miscellaneous "neat stuff" , , ,

Small Businesses Play a Large Role

December 11th, 2008

This week I am in Memphis hosting the Corps’ Small Business Conference, sponsored by The Society of American Military Engineers. Small businesses play a key role in strengthening and restoring our Nation’s infrastructure and supporting our service men and women with first-class facilities.

Small businesses provide an important link to our communities and local governments. They are entrepreneurs responsible for most of the new inventions. Did you know that the majority of our Nation’s patents come from small businesses?

Last year, fiscal year 2008, was a record year for the Corps, as we awarded nearly $7 billion to small businesses- $1 billion more than 2007. Dollars to “Service Disabled, Veteran Owned Business” doubled to $541 million. We predict 2009 will be an even better year! We plan to award 115 civil works contracts in New Orleans alone- many to small businesses. We are depending on our partnership with small businesses to help us deliver superior performance!

Miscellaneous "neat stuff", Small Business , ,