Author: Jeff Eckhoff

Communications Manager at CIRAS, Iowa State University

CIRAS Supports Iowa Lean Consortium’s Continuing Growth

Six years ago, the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) was just a group of volunteers with a passion for Lean and a desire to bring its practitioners together from across the Iowa economy. Today, the organization has 76 member companies and 63 individual members and routinely hosts events with capacity crowds—sometimes with a waiting list to get a seat. Members come from manufacturing, health care, insurance, finance, government, and education to learn from one another.

GOV TALK: How the Government Saves a Place for Small Businesses

Small businesses are expected to always have a place in government contracting. United States policy, per the Small Business Act and other subsequent legislation, says the maximum practical op­portunity must be provided to all small business categories. The president annually establishes government-wide goals declaring the minimum percentage of prime contracts that should go to businesses in the following categories:

WORKING ON WORKFORCE: The Importance of Growing What You’ve Got

In a time of tight budgets and unfavorable demographics, it’s in Dave Zrostlik’s best interest to keep all the employees he has. Zrostlik is president of Stellar Industries, an employee-owned maker of truck-mounted hydraulic equipment in Garner. Like the rest of Iowa, Stellar faces a growing shortage of skilled workers, as older employees retire and young rural residents head out of town for the brighter lights of big cities.

PTAP TIPS: New Options May Be on Horizon for Small-Business Mentoring

(ICYMI, here's another in CIRAS' series of "Did You Know?" informational guides authored by the experts with our Procurement Technical Assistance Program. Their purpose is to help guide businesses through the world of government contracting. Check the end of the story for contract information.) Did you know that the U.S. Small Business Administration is working on a new program that will allow all types of small businesses to have a mentor protégé agreement (MPA) and potential joint ventures with other businesses, even large businesses?