Events

June 14, 2012

Fort Irwin reaches out to High Desert small businesses

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By Caroline Keyser
Warrior editor

Local business owners listen to a briefing from Julie Ann Padilla, Procurement Assistance Center director, about processes for contracting with the U.S. Army during Fort Irwin’s small business outreach event June 12 at Sandy Basin Community Center.

The National Training Center and Fort Irwin took another step forward in connecting with surrounding High Desert communities this week.

The installation hosted a local small business outreach event June 12 at Sandy Basin Community Center.  The purpose of the event was to inform business owners about contracting opportunities with the Army at the NTC and Fort Irwin, and to strengthen the installation’s relationships with its neighbors, said Lt. Col. Joseph Paulin, commander of Mission and Installation Contracting Command.  More than 40 representatives of businesses in Barstow, Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville, and beyond were in attendance.

“It’s important to reach out to them because we have a lot of Soldiers and civilian employees living in these communities,” Paulin said.  “It makes sense to procure services and products locally because the money will go back into these communities.”

Attendees heard briefings about the processes for becoming a government contractor or subcontractor, as well as updates on some of Fort Irwin’s construction projects and an overview of the installation’s major commands and their missions.

Ron Johnson, president of RC Consolidated Services in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., said the event was the first time he had visited Fort Irwin.   The company, which manufactures linens, sheets, and blankets and distributes janitorial products, already does business with the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Veterans Administration.  Johnson said he came to Fort Irwin to learn about potential contracting opportunities connected with the new hospital that will soon begin construction here.

“As a disabled veteran myself, I think it’s important we provide quality products to service members,” Johnson said.  “We as veterans know what is needed.”

Representatives of BjD Resourcing said they attended the outreach event to learn about ways to continue their association with the NTC and Fort Irwin.  The company worked at the installation in the past constructing Military Operations in Urban Terrain sites in “the box.”

“We want to make sure Soldiers get what they need,” said employee Brian McWilliams, who has served in the Army reserve for 15 years.

 




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