PTAC helps local businesses from new home at OwensWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) of Northwest Ohio, operating out of its new home at Owens Community College’s Arrowhead Learning Center, is on a mission to help area businesses secure more government contracts.
PTAC is part of a nationwide and statewide network of offices offering free education, training and consultation services to small and midsize businesses interested in selling their products and services to federal, state and local government agencies with a goal of maximizing contracting awards for Ohio businesses.
The Northwest Ohio location has helped its clients obtain $100 million in contract awards in its fiscal year 2011, which ended Jan. 31, said Michael Bankey, vice president of Workforce and Community Services at Owens.
The organization has 200 clients in a 15-county region and has gained about 18 new clients since opening at Owens in February, he said.
Owens was selected by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) to serve as the new home for PTAC in the Northwest Ohio region after the previous contract expired Jan. 31.
PTAC operated most recently out of the Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator at the University of Toledo and prior to that at Bowling Green State University and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The service is funded by tax dollars in the form of financial support from the Defense Logistics Agency, ODOD and Owens make it possible for PTAC to offer the free services.
Gary Corrigan, market analyst for Workforce and Community Services at Owens, said Owens accepted the responsibility of investing in PTAC because economic development is in the best interest of the entire region.
“It’s an exciting portal for economic development that is often misunderstood,” Corrigan said.
Since the majority of government agencies now use a paperless procurement system and almost all requests for proposals for government work are posted online, businesses wanting to bid on those contracts must know how to use the electronic process. The PTAC offers businesses the tools and training required to successfully compete in the federal and state markets and acts as a consultant, helping businesses get involved in government contracting by walking them through the registration process at federal, state and local levels.
Initial consultations are conducted in PTAC offices and then it’s a one-on-one consultation process that often involves working with clients at their locations.
Mosser Construction in Toledo is one local business that regularly pursues government work and has utilized PTAC’s services.
“It’s a very daunting task since each level of government has its own little idiosyncrasies,” said Joe Luzar, vice president for business development at Mosser Construction. “It’s good to have a person and agency to consult with. That service is very beneficial to our business.”
TTL Associates Inc., a Toledo-based environmental, testing and geotechnical engineering firm that serves both private and public clients, has worked on 168 federal projects in the past three years.
PTAC helps companies understand how to use services the federal government offers to businesses, such as the Federal Business Opportunities website, said Thomas Uhler, president and CEO of TTL Associates.
“PTAC helps us to bring federal dollars back to the community through the work we do for the government,” Uhler said. “We get to know the contracting officers in the federal departments we do business with, which is a big advantage.”
The company’s construction management division provides oversight and quality control for federal construction projects across the country, such as a construction and rehabilitation job for the Department of Veterans Affairs at Marion (Ind.) National Cemetery.
TTL also has offices in Plymouth, Mich., Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and the Washington, D.C., area. Uhler was appointed to the board of trustees at Owens in June 2012 after having worked with PTAC before it was relocated to Owens.
The NWO PTAC represents 15 counties: Defiance, Fulton, Erie, Hancock, Huron, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams, Wood and Van Wert counties.
Other PTAC offices are located in Athens, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Kent and Kirtland.
For more information, visit www.owens.edu/ptac.
Tags: Duane Ramsey, Gary Corrigan, government contracts, Joe Luzar, Michael Bankey, Mosser Construction, Ohio Department of Development, Owens Community College, Procurement Technical Assistance Center of Northwest Ohio, Thomas Uhler, Toledo Business Link, TTL Associates Inc.