From left, Jonathan, Shawn, and Sharetta McCullough, employees with ML Builders, a Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) protégé company, describe their services to SRNS buyer Vera Curtis. This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From left, Jonathan, Shawn, and Sharetta McCullough, employees with ML Builders, a Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) protégé company, describe their services to SRNS buyer Vera Curtis. This photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AIKEN, S.C.EM’s cleanup contractor at the Savannah River Site (SRS) has awarded subcontracts valued at more than $1 billion to small and diverse businesses locally and nationally in the past four years.

“Our buyers work tirelessly to find opportunities for small and diverse suppliers, which is reflected in our committing nearly 80 percent of all procurement dollars to these companies,” said Sean Alford, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) chief administrative officer.

Since the beginning of the SRNS prime contract at SRS in 2008, the SRNS Small Business Program has received 17 awards for its work, with 15 presented in the last three years.

Among the personnel working to build on SRNS small business achievements is Small Business Liaison Officer J. Alex Agyemang, who was appointed to the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Supplier Diversity Advisory Committee (SDAC) in July. The standing committee provides expertise and advice on supplier diversity and development to the council’s board of directors.

“The SDAC addresses some of the most plaguing issues in the industry, such as talent management, return on investment, and supplier development business needs,” Agyemang said.

In addition, Jay Johnson, SRNS senior director of contracts, was appointed to the board of directors for the Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council.

Alford said SRNS’s posture on supplier development has been unwavering.

“We have always been committed to our small business partners,” Alford said. “It’s a part of our culture.”

Among the small businesses that SRNS subcontracts with is CTI and Associates, an SRNS mentor-protégé company that provides demolition, remediation, and environmental services. To date, the company has demolished nine buildings at SRS, helping reduce EM’s footprint while preparing the site for new missions.

“At Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, we have made supplier development a value we pursue daily,” said Fred Freeman, SRNS supply chain procurement director. “We partner with our suppliers to ensure the success of our missions, while helping these same suppliers meet their goals and objectives. This is one of the primary reasons we have such a strong, positive impact within the small business community.”