12th Annual Volk Field/Fort McCoy Small Business Conference
Change is in the Air and How it Will Affect Wisconsin
The 12th Annual Volk Field/Fort McCoy Small Business Conference is scheduled for June 19th and 20th at Fort McCoy.
Businesses from the Midwest will have the opportunity to take advantage of two days of technical training with a focus on ISSUES that will IMPACT your business direction, operations, strategy, markets, and SUCCESS. You will have the opportunity to hear from and meet with regional experts, leaders of the community, potential customers, and potential partners. All businesses including large, small, disadvantaged, minority, woman, HUB Zone, veteran and service-disabled veteran owned firms will benefit from this event. 
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and network with this year's participants including:  
  • Colonel David W. May, Commander, Volk Field Air National Guard Base
  • Representative from Fort McCoy
  • Eric Ness, District Director, Small Business Administration
  • Suzanne Mudd-Yarber, Director, Small Business Programs, U.S. Transportation Command.
  • Dane Deutsch, President/CEO, DCS Netlink
  • Lisa Taylor, President, Strategic Partners LLC
  • Anne Hlavacka. Small Business Development Center, UW-La Crosse
  • Barb LaMue, VP, WEDC
  • Ho Chunk Gaming
  • Federal agencies including US Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, VA, US Forest service
  • Prime contractors including Michels, Oshkosh Defense, Pomp's Tires, Fastenal and Siemens
  • And more......
Registration will close on June 5th. Register today at 
Acquisition Hour: Invoicing the Department of Defense Using WAWF/IRAPT

Doing Business with the National Park Service
Houghton, MI
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Acquisition Hour: Flow-down Clauses Management & Responsibilities for Contractors
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Acquisition Hour: Update on the Fair Labor Standards Act
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DOD SBIR/STTR Program Announcement   
DOD Broad Agency Announcements SBIR 18.2 and STTR 18.B are open for proposal submission. Announcements close June 20th at 8:00 p.m. (est.)  
Doing Business with the US Forest Service - June 6th, Rhinelander
The US Forest Service manages over 193 million acres of national forest. Within the Northern Michigan and Northern Wisconsin area there are four national forests:
  • Hiawatha National Forest - Gladstone, MI
  • Huron-Manistee National Forest - Cadillac, MI
  • Ottawa National Forest - Ironwood, MI
  • Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest - Park Falls and Rhinelander, WI
In Fiscal Year 2017, the US Forest Service awarded over $1.8 billion in contracts. Over $275 Million of those dollars went to businesses located in Wisconsin and Michigan. Join us for this unique opportunity to network with and learn directly from the US Forest Service Lake State Acquisition Team about what it takes to do business with the U.S. Forest Service!
IT'S OFFICIAL: "Cascading" Set-Asides Are Now Authorized at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Department of Veterans Affairs has an approved FAR Deviation that allows the use of Tiered Evaluations also known as cascading.  The goal for the agency is to minimize delays in the re-solicitation process when the competition they were expecting based on market research did not materialize.  If the contracting officer receives no acceptable offers, then they will follow the tiered evaluation procedures and proceed to the next eligible tier in the evaluation process.  If a contracting officer uses all of the tiers, the procurement could start as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business set aside and end up as unrestricted.  The FBO notice shall include the words "TIERED EVALUATIONS" in the subject line.  What does this mean for businesses?  Businesses not eligible in the first tier may spend time responding to a VA requirement and then never even be considered for the award.  However, if the business does not respond and the VA moves from the first tier outward, then they will have missed the opportunity all together. 
If you need more information on this new change, please contact Carol Murphy at or 414-270-3600.  Additional information is also available from the VA documents - VA FAR Class Deviation and Procurement Policy Memorandum which are available at the links below:
Society of American Military Engineers Lake Michigan Post  

At the May meeting of the Society of American Military Engineers Lake Michigan post Frank Grimaldi, Assistant Commissioner at City of Chicago, Department of Aviation gave a briefing on the O'Hare renovation project.  The City of Chicago and its airline partners have agreed to a $8.5 billion capital improvement plan that will transform O'Hare with the largest terminal expansion ever, adding 25% more gate capacity, modernizing existing terminals and improving passengers' experience. This investment is central to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's O'Hare 21 vision to improve the airport's connectivity, efficiency and capacity, and ensure the future success of Chicago's most important economic engine. This is the first major capital improvement to O'Hare's terminals in more than 25 years.  Even though we are across the border to the north, some of you that do airport work may find this to be a good opportunity.  Visit for details.   
Midwest Aerospace Small Business Industry Day

On May 8th, the Midwest Aerospace Small Business Industry Day hosted by NASA, the Federal Reserve and our IL PTAC counterparts was held in Chicago.  All 10 NASA centers were represented as were 6 of NASAs large prime contractors including Boeing, Jacobs, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK, SAIC and Sierra Nevada.  Also joining the program was NASA's SBIR-STTR Deputy Program Executive.  Quite a lineup.  So, what was the message?
Here is what they said:
  • If you want to do work with NASA, you must register in their NASA VENDOR DATABASE This will connect you to their procurement opportunities and requirements.
  • Respond to SOURCES SOUGHT and RFIs - and when you do - respond specifically to the requirement. This is important in the consideration to set aside requirements and consider suppliers.
  • Do your homework - a repeated comment. You are not making a good impression if you do not know who you are meeting with and what you can bring to their table
  • Glenn Delgado is the Associate Administrator of the NASA OSBP. He writes a blog from their website - good reading
  • Each NASA Center has a specialized mission - do your homework before meeting with NASA representatives
  • The NAICS codes that they use may seem "wrong". They recommended digging deeper on their requirements to determine if the opportunities actually are a fit.  Only one NAICS code can be used on a requirement - the decision factors may not be obvious.
  • Make sure that you have an "elevator pitch" that includes your NAICS and differentiators and a good capabilities statement
  • Understand the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the NASA Supplement
  • Attend the Center events - develop relationships at each Center Select OUTREACH at 
  • VERY IMPORTANT to the prime contractors attending - a robust accounting system.
  • VERY IMPORTANT - AS9100 quality system
  • Remember that NASA for the most part buys in low quantity - high specialization
  • SBIR STTR programs are both available through NASA
  • NASA has their own Mentor Protégé program - outside of the US SBA program
Wisconsin has a number of NASA contractors including Orbital Technologies, UW System, Medical College of Wisconsin, Plymouth Tube Company, College of Menominee Nations, Madison Cryogroup, Marquette, Industries for the Blind and others.
If you are interested in exploring potential opportunities for your business with NASA, contact Aina Vilumsons at 

  4 bots relieve NASA employees from doing 'low-value' work
The way NASA's shared services office used to process grants was manual, full of paper and required the scanning of documents.
Many would consider that approach to be "low-value" work - the kind the Trump administration wants agencies to stop doing.
Pam Wolfe, the chief of the Enterprise Services Division in the NASA Shared services office, is showing how that transformation can be accomplished. She turned to robots to help employees get out of doing the monotonous work of processing paper.
"We get probably 75 of those [grant applications] in house weekly," Wolfe said on Ask the CIO. "That has been an automation that has saved us a considerable amount of time for pretty mundane task that gives [our employees] the ability to focus on more analysis and value-added work."
NASA worked with UiPath to implement robotics process automation (RPA) software and tools as part of how it is transforming the space agency's approach to grants management.
Now the grant application are ready for NASA's employees to begin processing when they get in each day instead of them having to print out, scan in and create the "case file."
Listen to the story at FEDERALNEWSRADIO.COM