Battle Creek, Michigan –
Whenever a person meets one objective, it can be satisfying, but to achieve four at one time is even better.
Robert Steed, a contracting officer for DLA Disposition Services, realized such a feeling when he realized the new contract award with Applied Development LLC made the company the first DLA Disposition Services multi-year awardee to qualify in all small business socioeconomic subcategories.
“It was a welcome surprise,” Steed said. “We work so hard to hit our small business goals, that when you see something that gives so much bang for your effort, it fills you with a sense of accomplishment.”
Besides providing sign language interpreter services, the Baltimore, Maryland, company helps DLA Disposition Services by qualifying in four small business subcategories. These subcategories include being part of the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Program, its location in one of SBA’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones, being a service disabled veteran owned small business and an economically disadvantaged woman owned small business. Sheryl Woods, DLA Disposition Services’ special assistant for small business, explained that the federal government as a whole has a goal for small business of 23 percent as well as established sub goals for these subcategories.
“Disposition's small business fiscal 2017 goal is 53.9 percent and each of the targeted groups are the same as the federal goal,” Woods said. “So of Disposition's current small business achievement of 65.69 percent, our service disabled business achievement is 17.40 percent and our HUBZone achievement is 4.62 percent, service disabled veteran owned is 5.06 percent and woman owned small business is 21.21 percent.
Woods also noted that the HUBZone goal is one of the toughest to achieve because it can change since the eligibility requirements demand that at least 35 percent of employees must reside in a HUBZone as well as the company’s principal office being located in a HUBZone.
Steed also noted that the contract fulfills an important operational need. He explained that any time there is a meeting, training, presentation or similar event where a hearing impaired employee is in attendance, there needs to be sign language interpreter present to interpret.
“This contract helps the mission be ensuring that the hearing impaired have all the advantages as every other employee,” Steed said. “This allows the agency to draw from their unique talents and helps them succeed, which benefits the whole organization.
The new award provides those services for the next year with two option periods for one year for a possible contract length of three years. The overall dollar value of the contract is estimated to be $220,000, but Woods said the award is valuable for other reasons as well.
“Meeting the small business goals is the right thing to do and just good for business," Woods said. “While this is our first multiple year contract to hit all the categories, there has been at least one ‘one-time’ buy that went to a firm meeting all the sub categories."