Sen. Bob Casey’s staff hosted a seminar in Bethlehem for small business persons interested in learning how to seek government contracts. The state and federal governments (both were represented) contract with private businesses for all sorts of products and services and GSA Regional Administrator David Ehrenwerth spoke to the group and answered questions along with several other experts. I spoke with the Pennsylvanian about the General Services Administration and what it does:
Other speakers included George Murray with the Small Business Administration, Chris Jones of Lehigh University’s (the seminar was at its Mountaintop Campus) Small Business Development Center, Ed Brill of Brill Worldwide Investments and John McGeehan of Gaver Industries, Inc. Sen. Casey spoke via video and the event was hosted by Michelle Griffin Young of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Agencies had tables set up so attendees could speak with them directly and begin establishing relationships which are key to success. The speakers I watched were extremely knowledgeable and provided important information about how government contracting works and how to establish relationships, set specifications, remain a contractor and being expanding business in this manner. The room was full and I saw many of those in attendance taking notes. I spoke with a number of them following the event and all said they got a lot from the event.
Senator Casey’s staff did a nice job organizing this and it went off well. This is the second such event they’ve conducted and they expect to do one in western Pennsylvania next and hope to expand it with some specialized seminars for women, minorities and veterans. Reaching out to small business is wise because it generates new jobs, expands the economy and illustrates that Democrats are there for small business. I covered similar events conducted by former Congressman Joe Sestak and they are very useful. This is constituent service on a large scale.