Posts Tagged ‘government contracting’

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 ,

Helping to Build America’s Bench

October 8th, 2010

One of the most exciting things that I “get to do” is talk to young people across the country and try to encourage and energize them to pursue a career in an engineering field.   These opportunities have become more important in recent years as reports by organizations like the National Science Board show that American students are being outperformed by many of their international peers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This is particularly important for our future here at the Corps, because two-thirds of our 38,000 civilian employees are professional engineers, environmental science professionals and technical staff.

This week, I’m at the Great Minds in STEM conference in Orlando to help promote STEM to young adults and professionals from all backgrounds and encourage them to not only pursue a STEM career, but to “set the standard for their profession” by becoming leaders in their organizations. 

Furthering STEM awareness to under-represented youth is something the Corps has been doing for many years, (Click here to see more about our recent STEM efforts in San Antonio). And just a few weeks ago we took an even larger step forward when we awarded a contract to MYI Consulting, Inc., to help us host educational outreach events across the Nation as a way to stimulate interest and academic achievement in STEM. 

The students we talk to and young professionals we work with are our future, not just for us but for America.  We, the Corps, are a committed partner in strengthening America’s science, technology, engineering, math and science education.



Employment, Partnership ,

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" , , ,