Fort McCoy News July 11, 2014

MICC-McCoy hosts small-business training

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Local business representatives attended a Small Business Conference at Fort McCoy June 26 to gain a better understanding on how to conduct business with the government.

The event, hosted by Fort McCoy's Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC-McCoy) office, outlined programs, policies and procedures to be used by small-business owners seeking to gain work and contracts with Fort McCoy and the U.S. government.

Photo for MICC article
Tony Steinhoff, assistant director for the Office of Small Business Programs at the Mission and Installation Contracting Command-McCoy office, talks to business representatives during a Small Business Conference June 26 in building 1111.

Training by Dave Olson of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI) of Camp Douglas, Wis., showed business representatives how to navigate government systems and paperwork, and how to compete for contracts.

"They need to know the 'ins and outs' — they can't just jump in because it's a complicated business," Olson said.

Tony Steinhoff, assistant director for the Office of Small Business Programs at MICC-McCoy, organized the conference to create a better awareness in local communities.

"It's important for the small businesses to get involved in Fort McCoy's procurement processes and attend events such as the one we held for two reasons," Steinhoff said. "First, we provide them with the tools and resources they need to successfully compete for contracts with the federal government in support of today's warfighters.

"Second, it affords them the opportunity to ask questions, see what requirements we have upcoming and network with other local businesses," Steinhoff said.

"I encourage small-business owners to always look for the opportunities we have at Fort McCoy," said MICC-McCoy's Government Purchase Card Program Coordinator Vance Bickford during the conference. "There's always something going on, and we have opportunities presenting themselves that could help get a foot in the door."

Olson's presentations covered registering as a contractor, locating opportunities, responding to opportunities and working with prime contractors.

An overview of the installation's economic impact, employment and military training was provided by Linda Fournier, Fort McCoy Public Affairs officer.

Olson described WPI.

"We are based on a grant by the federal government, particularly the Department of Defense," said Olson, who also previously has worked at MICC-McCoy. "We assist businesses, free of charge, in getting through the processes required to do business with the government."

Olson said business representatives who attended now should have a better idea of what steps to take to do business with the government, and that time and patience are required to be successful in the contracting process.

"I think they also learned this is a process that requires a lot of hard work," Olson said.

John and Marilyn Jahnke, owners of Main Street Ink and Toner in Tomah, Wis., are in the early stages of doing business with the government. Both said it's a process they are committed to pursuing.

"The conference was very informative and gave a good overview of what we needed to know," John said.

"We're ready to do what we have to do," Marilyn said. "We recently met Dave (Olson) who encouraged us to come to the event and who also got us started on the process. We're excited about it."

MICC-McCoy is one of 33 offices within the MICC at the field level and falls under Army Contracting Command and Army Materiel Command.

For more information about contracting at Fort McCoy, call Steinhoff at 608-388-7351 or 608-388-3818, or send email to tony.r.steinhoff.civ@mail.mil. For more about WPI, call Olson at 608-427-2455, or send email to david@wispro.org.