County Executive Brooks and RIT Promote Regional Economic Development

Effort seeks to assist small businesses and manufacturers in obtaining defense contracts

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The Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology and Monroe County’s Rochester Procurement Technical Assistance Center have developed a business training series to assist Upstate New York companies in developing proposals and obtaining contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense. The effort seeks to promote economic development and job growth in the region, while assisting the defense department in accessing high quality suppliers.

The series has included multiple training sessions to assist businesses in understanding the defense contracting process and applying for current request for proposals being offered by defense agencies.

In addition, a matchmaking session was held to connect representatives from government agencies and current defense buyers with contractors and subcontractors looking to enter the market. The event included 30 prime contractors and government representatives and over 130 industry representatives from across New York state.

The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense and Monroe County, with support from New York state.

“The Procurement Technical Assistance Center is an excellent economic development tool for local businesses and our workshop series with RIT has been incredibly valuable to small business owners looking to bolster their economic opportunities,” says Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.

“Numerous Upstate businesses have the technical skills to provide high quality services to the Department of Defense, but the contracting process can be complex and intimidating, particularly if a business has not worked with the government before,” notes Brian Duddy, senior program manger at the center, which is part of RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

The current series builds on a three-year research effort by the Center for Integrated Manufacturing studies designed to promote the growth and development of Upstate New York’s manufacturing sector.

The Roadmap for the Revitalization of Upstate New York Manufacturing, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, surveyed hundreds of firms in the 30-county western and central New York region and developed a series of recommendations to provide enhanced technical support and expertise that would improve the efficiency, productivity and overall competiveness of the Upstate manufacturing sector.

“One of the major findings of the roadmap study was the need for better knowledge on potential markets and new customers as well as the training and operational support necessary to access these opportunities,” notes Nabil Nasr, director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at RIT. “Through this defense training series we have been able to address one of the main challenges expressed by area manufacturers and improve opportunities for increased market penetration and economic growth.”

The Rochester Procurement Technical Assistance Center provides government contract consulting to diverse business concerns. The center is an official program of the U.S. Defense Department and the County of Monroe, administered by the Defense Logistics Agency.