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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 008-96
January 05, 1996

DOD REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO SMALL DISADVANTAGED BUSINESSES (SDBS) WITH THEIRNEW INDUSTRY THRUST PROGRAM

Undersecretary of Defense Paul Kaminski today reaffirmed DoD's commitment to bring small disadvantaged businesses into the defense industrial base with the introduction of an aggressive new initiative called the Industry Thrust Program. The Industry Thrust Program, which concentrates on five major industry areas, will seek to provide increased awareness of DoD contracting and subcontracting opportunities to SDBs, women-owned businesses, historically black colleges/universities and minority institutions.

The DoD program focuses on the following industries: environmental, manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, and management information systems. A special series of informational conferences addressing DoD procurement opportunities in each of the five industry areas will be conducted in the upcoming months in strategic cites throughout the United States. The first conference on Telecommunications will be hosted by Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and will be held in Alexandria, Va., January 21-23, 1996. San Antonio, Texas will host the environmental and health care conferences. The manufacturing conference will be hosted by Columbus, Ohio and Los Angeles will host the management information systems conference.

Kaminski's announcement follows DoD's recent action to suspend the "rule of two" set-aside contract program for SDBs. That action was taken based on advice from the Justice Department, as part of an on-going review of all federal affirmative action programs in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Adarand v. Pena.

These workshops are designed so that SDBs will benefit from a reservoir of knowledge presented by key members of contracting, technical, and program offices. The conference agenda also includes an overview of acquisition and regulatory reform, DoD progress towards a paperless contracting environment, and Small Business Innovation Research Program opportunities.

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