NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 9, 2022) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville Small Business Industry Day held a virtual information and networking event. The “Back-2-Business, from Incorporation to Negotiations” themed event provided an opportunity for participants to attend small business workshops, learn about USACE programs and small business opportunities, meet with other federal agencies, and network. The U.S. Small Business Administration, Tennessee Small Business Development Center and Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and many other organizations, were in attendance.
U.S. Rep. Mark Green, R-Clarksville, took time to recognize and show his appreciation of the partnership between the Nashville Corps and the small businesses in the area, “Small businesses represent the vast majority of job creators across the district.” He continued, “I’m excited to see what you can learn from the Corps of Engineers and what they can learn from you as you work together to deliver services and goods to our community and create opportunity for all Tennesseans.”
Lt. Col. Joseph Sahl, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, kicked off the event recognizing the challenges of having a virtual event, compared to an in-person event. However, he quickly reassured participants, “Today’s event, although virtual, is all about the small business community - building relationships with the USACE family and with industry, providing awareness on upcoming opportunities, and ensuring each small business knows how to navigate the federal system. I really appreciate the work that went into making this possible and for each company that is represented here today. Your success is our success!”
Sahl discussed the challenges across USACE, “The US Army Corps of Engineers is facing an unprecedented workload with a continued commitment to solving the nation’s toughest challenges. Our Chief of Engineers, LTG Spellmon has established priorities that include strengthening our partnerships and finding innovative solutions to effectively deliver on our commitment to solving the nation’s toughest challenges. This Small Business Conference is a crucial step in establishing and strengthening our partnerships with the small business community.”
The event included informational discussions on federal resources, contracting and subcontracting opportunities resulting from the Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA). It also included breakout networking sessions with the Nashville, Memphis, Louisville Districts, and the Huntsville U.S. Engineering and Support Center.
Small Business Office Chief Eulanda-Scott Shingleton organized the virtual event and stressed the importance of the small industry day, “This forum gave small businesses the opportunity to learn about the upcoming work the Nashville District has available and how they can link up with the resources available to bid on the work. Additionally, it provides small businesses the opportunity to network with large business within their prospective industries.”
Shingleton understands the value small businesses provide to USACE, the local community, and the economy on both a micro and macro level. “Small businesses are important because they cultivate growth, innovation, and diversity,” she said. Shingleton believes small businesses have a unique ability to leverage their skills to assist USACE in maintaining water resources, strengthening national supply chains through commercial, helping communities impacted by natural disasters increase their resiliency, and advancing environmental justice.
Concluding the event was a vendor meet-and-greet, providing opportunities for large businesses, HBCUs, and non-profit organizations to discuss potential subcontracting partnerships with USACE. Additionally, the breakout sessions connected larger businesses, who have partnered with USACE, with small businesses to serve in a mentoring capacity. Participants met with representatives from the Small Business Development Center to sign up for free counseling and training for business planning, financial management, marketing, and access to capital.
Sahl, in his closing remarks said, “I really appreciate you coming out today. We can’t do this alone, none of us can.”
The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.
For more information regarding the Nashville District Small Business Office, please visit: https://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Business-With-Us/Small-Business/