Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Center for Workforce Education at Fairmont State, in partnership with the West Virginia Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration, presents a new certificate program in Federal Acquisitions Management.

The certificate will be delivered through a series of two-day seminars that will focus on topics and issues related to the acquisition and management of federal contracts at the Center for Workforce Education located in the Veterans' Square building in downtown Fairmont, at 320 Adams St., Suite G01.

The Certificate Program in Federal Acquisition Management will begin in July 2006 and be completed in December 2006. It will consist of 96 total classroom hours presented in six two-day segments of 16 hours each (8 am to 4:30 p.m. each day). Sessions will include lecture, experiential exercises, research and conclude with a final exam. To attain a certificate, students must attend and complete the requirements of all six segments. The total cost of the program is $600 for each participant. However, if someone wishes to attend individual two-day segments, each segment is priced at $125 per participant.

The facilitator for this program is Barbara Weaver of the Office of Government Contracting, U. S. Small Business Administration. In this capacity, she is responsible for providing support, training and advocacy to small businesses doing business with the federal government. She also provides oversight for federal contracting offices and prime federal contractors to ensure that small businesses have an equitable opportunity to participate in federal prime acquisitions and subcontracts.

"This program will require a 12-day investment over a period of six months. Participants will gain a broad understanding of the federal acquisition regulations and processes which will be invaluable for those companies performing federal contracts or those who want to do so," Weaver said.

"The structure of each segment will include lecture and application of the material through a series of "close-to-real-life" experiential team exercises," she said.

The following is an overview of each segment:

Segment No. 1 -- Federal Acquisition Overview July 19 and 20, 2006

The Federal Acquisition Regulations [FAR] provide the foundation for contract and subcontract arrangements in the federal arena. This first segment will overview the entire system and will include federal contracting terms, contractor qualifications and acquisition of commercial items. In addition, simplified acquisition which includes all federal purchases of $100,000 or less, sealed bidding " the government process for competitive fixed price contracts and Federal Supply Schedule contracts will be covered. Types of contracts will be covered in depth, with an emphasis on the risks associated with each type.

Segment No. 2 "Planning for Strategic Growth" August 23 and 24, 2006
There is truth in the adage: "If you aren't growing, you are backing up." Building a business requires focus and tools designed to help you take strategic steps to go to the next level. This segment will not only provide those tools but will also blend in critically important sections of the FAR, including improper business practices, small business programs and special contracting methods; i.e. leader company, management and operations, multi-year contracting, and more.

Segment No. 3 "Marketing and Winning Federal Contracts" September 20 and 21, 2006
Developing the framework for how your company goes about new business development is so important to long-term success. This is true for both federal and commercial markets. This segment is built around the development plan and includes the resources that are available to provide business development support. This segment weaves in the regulations that govern acquisition agencies' needs and planning processes, publication and competition requirements and required sources of supplies and services. A portion of this class will also be devoted to the development of proposals for federal contracts.

Segment 4 "Negotiated Procurement and Negotiating" October 18 and 19, 2006
The government uses the Negotiated Procurement process to enter into contracts when the requirement cannot be exactly specified. These actions may be competitively negotiated or entered into on a sole source basis. It's important for federal contractors to understand the differences between the two and all the steps that are involved. It is equally important that they understand the art and science of actual negotiation. This segment will cover both topic areas, along with oral presentations which are often necessary during Negotiated Procurements.

Segment 5 "Financial Requirements" November 15 and 16, 2006
Pricing under federal contracts requires an understanding of those sections of the FAR that address contract cost principles and procedures, financing of contracts and the Cost Accounting Standards. Participants will gain an in-depth and practical understanding of all cost and pricing matters through study and application of financial regulations.

Segment 6 "Contract Management" December 13 and 14, 2006
There are numerous requirements that contractors must manage after award and before final close-out. Contract management requires not only an understanding of the contractual instrument but also many of the regulations that comprise the document. This segment will address all of those requirements including applicable labor law; patents, data and copyrights; bonds and insurance; auditing, modifications, subcontracting; management of government property, quality requirements transportation; and many, many more.

For more information, or to register for the program, please visit us online at www.pierpont.edu/ce or call the Center for Workforce Education at 304.367.4920.

The SBDC is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, though such funding does not constitute an expressed or implied endorsement of any of the co-sponsors or participants opinions, products or services. Special arrangements for the handicapped can be made by contacting us at the number listed above, at least one week in advance.