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.