Extension News

CIRAS Counsels Veterans for Federal Contractor Certification

6/30/2010

AMES, Iowa – Veteran-owned companies that want to do business with the federal government have a new resource to help them reach this goal. Iowa State University Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) provides the required counseling to help these companies prepare for the Federal Contractor Certification (FCC) training program.

Interested veterans who are business owners first must register with a CIRAS counselor. David Bogaczyk, who manages CIRAS’ statewide Procurement Assistance program, says it’s his job to make sure up front that companies have the potential for success in government contracting.

CIRAS counselors interview the business owners to determine their eligibility for the FCC program, which targets established businesses. During this process, CIRAS helps owners understand the requirements for doing business with the federal government and how their products or services might fit into this marketplace. If the veteran-owned business is found to be a good match, CIRAS will coach the owner through the steps necessary for success as a federal contractor.

Business owners who register for the FCC program currently may take two levels of online certification courses at their own pace, Bogaczyk said. Level 1 certification covers the basic understanding of federal contracting; level 2 covers teaming, joint ventures and legal issues. After they complete the course work at each level, they take a comprehensive exam. Those who pass the exam are certified at that level and may advertise their capability. Eventually, four levels of certification will be available.

“The certification really helps companies connect and market to larger government contractors,” Bogaczyk said. The certification demonstrates that the business owner has a comprehensive knowledge of federal contracting concepts, which makes the company a better performer as a supplier or subcontractor.

Federal contracting isn’t the right fit for all businesses, Bogaczyk noted. If that is the case, CIRAS can help business owners get started with city, county or state government contracting instead. Sometimes indirect government contracting – becoming a supplier to another business that has a government contract — might be the better choice as well.

CIRAS provides customized assistance to help Iowa companies win government contracts at the federal, state and local level. CIRAS helps them find and respond to appropriate bids, market their products and services to government agencies and contractors, and increase their sales in the government marketplace — steps that can prove critical to success in uncertain economic times.

The Federal Contractor Certification training program was created by the Association for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC) and the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), with the assistance of the Defense Acquisitions University (DAU).

For more information, contact Bogaczyk at 515-422-6313 or bogaczyk@iastate.edu.

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Contacts :

David Bogaczyk, Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), 515-422-6313, bogaczyk@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, 515-294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu