COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Area economic and community officials visited the Defense Supply Center Columbus Dec. 3 and met with leadership from the base’s two largest tenants – the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service – Columbus.
Representatives from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office as well as Columbus and Whitehall received information on the installation’s mission and operations in a brief led by DLA Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. John Palmer.
Retired Col. Joseph Zeis said these outreach efforts are part of the state’s desire to build Ohio’s workforce of the future by linking industries and universities with employers to prepare for future hiring demands.
Zeis, appointed in February to serve as the governor’s senior advisor for aerospace and defense, said “the workforce pipeline and that feedback loop to universities who support those hires is of key interest.”
Palmer took the opportunity to discuss the upcoming DLA Land and Maritime Supplier Conference and Exposition in August. The national conference brings hundreds of defense industry experts, suppliers and vendors to Columbus to discuss future logistics support strategies, challenges and streamlining efforts to better support the nation’s warfighters.
He said it’s an opportunity to gauge what education and specialties industries may seek in the workforce to meet future demands.
Palmer also discussed DLA Land and Maritime’s robust small business programming and how that translates to the local economy. The Central Ohio logistics center awarded more than $172 million to Ohio small businesses in fiscal year 2018. Additionally, the organization hosts free two-day training seminars several times each year open to any small business nationwide. The in-person seminars – known as Training, Knowledge and Opportunities sessions – bring in experts from across DLA to teach small business professionals interested in learning about federal contracting.
“We procure from all over the United States. What we offer to the local community is opportunity and shoulder-to-shoulder training – and with that training, they have the potential to be suppliers nationally,” Palmer said. “A bigger, stronger vendor base is what we’re all about.”
For more information on upcoming free TKO seminars and webinars, visit https://tko.dla.mil/ and select the DLA Land and Maritime location, or visit the DLA Office of Small Business Programs webpage.