Year: 2021

Did You Know?… More changes coming to SAM.gov and beta.SAM.gov

They saying goes, “The only constant in life is change.” If you have been working in the federal contract market during the past couple of years, there seems to be no truer statement. The long-awaited, much-anticipated integration of SAM.gov and beta.SAM.gov occurred on May 24. As of May 24, legacy SAM.gov, as you know it, was retired. Its registration, excluded parties listing, and other functionalities were moved to beta.SAM.gov. But the “beta” also went away, and it is now called SAM.gov. This is an entirely new, consolidated system.

CIRAS Awarded $133,000 to Develop DBEs

CIRAS has received a $133,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)to help economically and socially disadvantaged businesses develop as companies so they are better able to compete for highway construction projects and other DOT-funded projects. As part of the grant, CIRAS will provide one-on-one assistance to companies who qualify as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) – generally defined as small business that are at least 51 percent owned by women or minorities – about the best ways to position themselves for government bidding opportunities and market themselves to prime contractors and government agencies

ILC Annual Conference to offer Virtual, In-Person Options this Fall

The Iowa Lean Consortium’s Annual Conference will take a step closer to its familiar format this fall – but this time, it will be as part of a new hybrid model designed to accommodate a variety of different comfort levels related to COVID-19. The Annual Conference, traditionally the ILC’s largest and most extensive yearly opportunity … Continue reading ILC Annual Conference to offer Virtual, In-Person Options this Fall

Did You Know?…Navigating NAICS and Government Acronyms

NAICS is old news for a news email, as the system has been around for 23 years. But this topic comes up often with clients, so I thought it would be a nice refresher to emphasize the importance of NAICS and their ongoing relevancy. NAICS – Also known as North American Industrial Classification Codes, these codes are used in federal procurements and in small business size standards. The North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS (pronounced "Nakes"), was developed under the direction and guidance of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as the standard for use by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the collection, tabulation, presentation, and analysis of statistical data describing the U.S. economy.

Grants Plant Seeds to Help FIRST® LEGO® League Grow

Two major sources of grant money are helping Iowa organizers of FIRST LEGO League (FLL) increase access to programs promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to Iowa youth. FLL Explore, formerly known as FIRST LEGO League Junior, is one of two programs created to help elementary school students grow in their use of STEM skills. This year it was included as part of the 2021 STEM Scale-Up program, which was created by the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council to provide schools and other organizations with free access to roughly a dozen STEM programs each year. At the same time, a grant from Microsoft Community Challenge is helping FLL launch new teams with an underserved population in metropolitan Des Moines.

Decker Finds Peace of Mind through CIRAS Technology Assistance

A Keokuk maker of grooming brushes and other agricultural products expects to save at least 50 percent on energy costs after CIRAS advised the company during replacement of an aging plastic injection molding machine. Tony Fox, president of Decker Manufacturing, said his company contacted CIRAS last summer seeking unbiased advice about replacing an aging hydraulic machine that had become an energy hog and needed frequent repairs.

CIRAS Helps ALMACO Assess COVID-19 Risk from Suppliers

The problems caused by COVID-19 last summer were bad enough, but what really bothered Steve Skaggs was not knowing what was coming next. “We had been having some spotty parts shortages, which was creating some anxiety,” said Skaggs, purchasing manager for ALMACO, a manufacturer of seed research equipment in Nevada. “We just didn’t know for sure who or where the next problem was going to come from.” So Skaggs turned to CIRAS for help in assessing ALMACO’s vulnerability to supplier problems tied to the pandemic.

Woofables Uses COVID-19 Slump to Plan Future Growth

A Coralville bakery catering to the culinary needs of dogs expects to triple in size over the next three years after CIRAS gave it the confidence to expand its service of two different parts of the market for high-quality treats. Woofables, a gourmet dog treat bakery established in 2004, is wrapping up a major expansion that included creation of two separate production lines to serve both small pet boutiques and large commercial supermarkets. Company leaders say the investment will make Woofables more efficient at serving two growing segments of a growing industry—segments with competing interests that don’t always align.

New Consortium to Support Tech Training for Iowa Manufacturers

For Immediate Release: As business and industry evolve at an ever-increasing pace, the next wave of change in the form of digitalization and automation, known as “Industry 4.0,” will require new processes for businesses and new skills for employees. Today, Iowa’s Community Colleges and the Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) announced a new consortium to support the manufacturing sector in adapting to these changes. The training and awareness initiative includes partners from across the state. “Iowa has the right mix of relationships and resources to help our manufacturers remain competitive through a global technology revolution that is transforming factory floors and jobs,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “This important partnership addresses a critical need identified in the state’s Manufacturing 4.0 strategic plan by uniting key education and industry stakeholders in a comprehensive effort to prepare workers with the skills they need in an increasingly digital economy."

ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is June 8-10

Are you ready to gain valuable insights that can help your business? If so, CIRAS recommends that you plan to attend the annual Taking Care of Business Conference next month in Coralville. The yearly conference, which is hosted by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, is a valuable way for Iowa manufacturers to invest … Continue reading ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is June 8-10