Last week, WPI hosted and attended a number of events focusing on Federal contracting opportunities – 5th Annual Department of Veterans Affairs Conference, Midwest SBLO meeting and UWM’s MERC.  Some takeaways:

  1. As it applies to veteran owned businesses, the CVE verification only applies to work with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the FAA. Details on the Verification requirements are available at The US SBA SDVOSB program applies to the other agencies.  More information at
  2. Although not yet implemented, the Final Rule for Credit for Lower Tier Small Business Subcontracting became effective January 23, 2017. Contractors requiring small business subcontracting plans as well as small businesses should be aware of this change and watch for details. The text is available at
  3. In addition to the Small Mentor Protégé Program, DoD will continue to offer the long standing DOD MP Program. Learn more about this program at
  4. The Midwest SBLO group hosted their quarterly meeting in Milwaukee. Guest speakers included representatives from Husch Blackwell, Belonger Corporation and Convenience Electronics.  SBLO’s are encouraged to participate in their quarterly meetings – in person or via webcast.  Learn more at
  5. A message from Federal agency representatives at the VA event – respond to Sources Sought and IFB’s. Small businesses need to make sure that the agencies are aware of your capabilities and small business status.   Supporting the agencies efforts to perform market research, can influence a requirement being set-aside under one of the US SBA small business programs.   Businesses should be reviewing opportunities on a daily basis.
  6. Networking is CRITICAL to success – a continuing message to contractors.
  7. The new beta version of the USASPENDING.GOV site is now available for use – The beta version content will be updated during the summer and then will replace the current site in September.
  8. I had the pleasure of hearing the presentation by Dr. William Regli from DARPA at UWM’s MERC event. Organizations interested in learning more can go to  Open solicitations are available at  Four focus areas were highlighted – Math, Modeling and Design / Physical Systems / Human-Machine Systems and Social Systems.

Aina Vilumsons

Executive Director – CEO