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Lincoln County – The Lincoln Economic Development Association hosted it’s second Lincoln Leaders Seminar featuring Scott Dorney, executive director for the NC Military Business Center who spoke to the industries and businesses of Lincoln County on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at Verdict Ridge Country Club about the government contracting opportunities that are waiting for them. “There is almost three hundred billion dollars of government contracts available, currently North Carolina is only obtaining one percent of their potential; mainly because North Carolina is not going after them.” says Dorney. North Carolina ranks 26th in the procurement of government contracts, although statistically NC is one of the highest military installation states. Who is spending this three hundred billion? It’s the Army for the most part spending twice as much as the Air Force; Fort Brag is the largest spender, contracting with textile companies to make their military uniforms and other industries for various needs. Of the first eight contracts sent out from the Army, not one was awarded to North Carolina; then the NCMBC was created later in 2004, and a textile plant in Asheboro, NC was awarded a contract to make the pants for the Army’s uniforms; this was a $122,000,000. contract. North Carolina handles 30% of the military foot ware market as well. Since then North Carolina has obtained several government contracts but not nearly as many as we should. “Why should those dollars go to another state when North Carolina has the ability to obtain those contracts.” says, Dorney. “There are eight defense contractors in Lincoln County now and that number could be much higher with the industries that are located here. “

In 2004 the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) was created with the mission to leverage military and other federal business opportunities for economic development and quality of life in NC. There goal is to increase military business for existing NC industries, to support recruitment and development of defense in NC and to support integration of military personnel and family members into the workforce. The NCMBC focuses on business development, market opportunities and to compliment efforts of other agencies to develop and train businesses. There are thirteen NCMBC offices located in North Carolina with representatives to serve every county and help each industry.

Dorney also spoke on workforce development; twelve thousand personnel leave the military every year. The NCMBC has a Transition Program that will help place trained and discipline military personnel with the education requirements that many companies are looking for. MatchForce.org is North Carolina’s official, FREE website for federal business opportunities; it automatically matches registered companies to federal business opportunities. It also matches government buyers and prime contractors to NC suppliers as well as matching military and other NC job seekers to jobs posted free by NC businesses. Scott Dorney, “I encourage and highly recommend every industry and business to register with MatchForce.”

Pete Acker, chair of the Lincoln Economic Development Association, “Scott was an exciting and informative speaker, I would like to see him speak before our industries and local businesses again in the near future. I think everyone here found it beneficial.