On Oct. 10, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast teamed with industry partners to present the Gulf Coast Industry Connection, an annual networking event open to businesses desiring to learn more about selling their products and services to various government agencies and large prime contractors.
“It’s all about the partnerships and capabilities we can build with one another,” said Jimmy Smith, U.S. Navy Office of Small Business Programs Director. “Without you, I can’t get capability I need in the hands of people who need it.”
The event featured presentations and panels with U.S. Navy and prime contractor participants such as Austal USA, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Textron Marine and Land Systems, VT Halter Marine, and many others. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend targeted break-out sessions led by various government resource agencies and meet one-on-one with company representatives during an informational fair.
“A lot of vendors are mystified by the government acquisition process,” said Brad Johnson, SSGC DDG 51 Contracts Specialist and Deputy for Small Business. “This event lets us offer business owners direct assistance no matter where they are in the process – from those who are just starting out to those who have been working as contractors for the government and our industry partners for years.”
Started in 2008, this year’s iteration was attended by 238 business owners from 23 different states. While panel topics included shipbuilding, federal contracts, and business resources, breakout sessions focused in on the Navy’s Small Business Administration services and loan support, Procurement Technical Assistance Center services, Small Business Innovation Research, and Marine Industries Science and Technology Cluster.
“We’re looking for innovation, we’re looking for capability,” Smith said. “Small business first is one of our mottos.”
To learn more, visit https://www.secnav.navy.mil/smallbusiness/Pages/default.aspx