AIKEN, S.C. – (August 15, 2019) –The Department of Energy (DOE) recently held its annual HUBZone Business Opportunities Forum at the Savannah River Site (SRS) Applied Research Center in Aiken, S.C.
SRS management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) President and Chief Executive Officer Stuart MacVean welcomed the event attendees and spoke of the vital need for small business partnerships at SRS. He told the attendees, "you are where we get innovations and technology. As a small business, you are more flexible and agile. There is a vital need for you to be a part of our mission success. With the expanding workforce and the expanding footprint, it is a great time for you to get engaged and become a part of the team. Your partnership is an important part of how we get crucial things done."
Through this forum, DOE provided a platform that engaged local small businesses qualifying for HUBZone certification as well as those that are already certified. HUBZones are historically underutilized business zones and to be a part of the DOE HUBZone Program, small businesses must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, a Native Hawaiian organization or an Indian tribe and have the principal office located in a HUBZone with at least 35 percent of its employees living in a HUBZone as well.
SRNS Small Business Liaison Officer J. Alex Agyemang spoke to forum attendees about the crucial role they play in executing SRNS missions. Agyemang said "the continued commitment to HUBZones drives local community growth. You are essential to the economic development of our rural communities. My advice to current and future small businesses is to be ethical, responsive and always deliver on your promises. Your success is essential to future Site missions."
SRS liquid waste contractor Savannah River Remediation (SRR) also participated in the recent forum, including buyers Heather Pisano and Tripp Williams and Supply Chain Management Director Ellen Hansmann.
Hansmann gave a presentation about business opportunities with SRR. "At SRR, we award opportunities to those businesses who share our values of safety, integrity, ownership, teamwork and continuous improvement," Hansmann said. "The services provided by HUBZone businesses are especially valuable and resourceful in safely completing work for SRR’s liquid waste mission."
Event attendees were given the opportunity to hear from DOE Headquarters and the Small Business Administration; the South Carolina Promise Zone Coordinator, the South Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations; Small Business Program Leadership across SRS; UCOR, the Oak Ridge Site cleanup contractor; and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet directly with SRNS, SRR and Centerra-SRS buyers to begin dialogue and relationship building as well as discuss potential opportunities and partnerships.
Following the technical sessions throughout the day, DOE held a matchmaking session that gave local suppliers the opportunity to meet one-on-one with buyers as well as technical experts from government agencies, SRS prime contractors and the Oak Ridge Site’s Small Business Program Managers.
Liz Harris, the Small Business Program Manager and Procurement Administrator for Centerra-SRS, said these type of events bring together those responsible for purchasing goods and services and vendors who may want to get involved in the bidding process. She explained that as the Site’s Security provider, Centerra procures a wide array of items and that small businesses play an important role in that process.
"During a breakout session, we met with the vendor representatives in attendance to explain our procurement processes." said Liz. "Those vendors now have a better understanding of our processes and we were able to identify several HUBZone certified small businesses that could be a match for future opportunities."