$29 Million from Boeing Co. to African American-owned Companies

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A major unit of the Boeing Company has awarded $29 million in subcontracts to African American owned suppliers, representing a 50% increase over the past five years, company officials said.

These companies are beneficiaries of part of the $200 million in subcontracts awarded to other minority-and women-owned small businesses. These business enterprises will supply Boeing with engineering, software and technical services.

Twenty-three companies bid for the work, culminating with the announcement after an extensive selection process that considered overall cost, management, technical expertise, past performance and risk management, Boeing officials said in an interview with The Black Star News.

One African American company that won subcontracting work is Houston-based GB Tech Industries. The company will focus on hardware configuration management and data management. “The contracts will provide project and software engineering integration support for various NASA programs. This is when the software and the hardware are integrated and operate as one. GB Tech will also provide quality assurance,� a Boeing spokesperson said.

“I like to say it’s a major win for GB Tech,� said John Bailey, VP General Manager of the Technical Services Division of the company. “We were able to capture that work by teaming with Dynecs Engineering.�

The subcontracts are effective October 1, 2004 and will support the Space Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS) and ISS Payload Integration programs, company officials said.

Separately, Boeing participates within NASA’s Mentor Protégé program – this program allows small, women-owned and African American top-notch hi-tech companies to develop additional technological and business competencies that assist in developing long-term supplier relationships.

“With Boeing being a high-technology company, we mentor them in the way that we do business so that they can go into such areas as software development, spacecraft communication, navigation control and guidance,� explained, Kevin Howard, coordinator of Boeing NASA Systems Supplier Diversity Program.

Benefits for the smaller companies go beyond refining their skills set and expertise. On the commercial end, these companies become best-placed to bid on numerous contracts offered by Boeing’s various business units enterprise-wide, thereby broadening their business base. As for Boeing, the company gets to develop long-term relationships with suppliers.

“This is an on-going opportunity that we have,� Howard said, of Boeing’s relationship with subcontracting to African American-owned, smaller and women-owned businesses.

“This is a third generation of contracts of solicitations on ISS —we are highly adapted at how to be inclusive. Boeing conducted electronic communications nationwide in an effort to find the brightest and best firms.�

The subcontracts were awarded by St. Louis-based Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, a unit of The Boeing Company. Integrated is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses with $27 billion annual revenue.

“Working with African American and small businesses and women-owned businesses is a framework for Boeing for establishing life–long diversity of thought and ideas as well as diverse teams,� Tanya E. Deason-Sharp, the company spokesperson, said.

Other African American, small and women-owned businesses can participate in future bids or access other Boeing business opportunities through www.Boeing.com and by clicking on the how-to-do-business-with the Boeing company link.

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