PHOENIX – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District hosted the spring Business Opportunities Open House March 30 at the midtown Hilton Garden Inn.
The semi-annual Business Opportunities Open House, or BOOH, focused on facilitating partnerships with businesses and highlighting contract opportunities.
“The purpose of today’s event is to network,” said Eric Ravelli, the District’s deputy of the Small Business program. “This is a signature event that makes the process of working with the Corps easier. We are able to talk to contractors and contractors can talk to us on a one-on-one basis, so that we can make connections, build business relationships and delivery our programs by finding out what capabilities are available through local industry.”
During the BOOH, about 300 business owners met with District division chiefs and project managers.
“Leadership’s role is to create connection between contractors, and the Corps of Engineers and our partners, to try and see what kind of contract opportunities we can bring together for the future,” said LA District Deputy Engineer David Van Dorpe.
The BOOH had three distinct goals – to create competitive bids on upcoming projects, support small business in the area and build partnership through open lines of communication with stakeholders.
“We also have lots of opportunities for small businesses,” Van Dorpe said. “This is a great way for small businesses to get to know the Corps, but also meet other contractors and forge relationships. More than two-thirds have never worked directly on a prime contract.”
Small businesses represented 78 percent of the participants.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for us and all small businesses with construction interests,” said Daniel Esquivel, business development director with Pattinson Engineering. “It’s good that the Army Corps is involving us, getting us into all these projects and helping us through the process, so we can get work on those projects.”
The BOOH featured two morning training sessions: The American Indian Chamber Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Small Business Administration Phoenix District conducted the first training session on the SBA Mentor-Protégé Program, as well as the benefits of the Joint Ventures Program. The second training session was conducted by the LA District’s chief of the Safety Office on how to submit accident prevention plans to USACE.
“This is the most successful BOOH thus far,” Ravelli said. “I know it makes an impact for our small business communities and allows us to fulfill the Corps’ mission.”
The event also was supported by the Arizona Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Society of American Military Engineers and the 56th Contacting Squadron from Luke Air Force Base.
The next BOOH is scheduled for the fall in California. Visit www.spl.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Small-Business-Program to learn more about doing business with USACE and the Small Business Program.