UW/CPO and UW/BDP Working on the Regional Contracting Forum
The UW along with eight other major public agencies will be hosting the region’s largest business opportunity outreach and networking event. The Regional Contracting Forum (RCF) has a primary focus on outreach to Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE), and Disadvantaged Businesses Enterprises (DBE – a federal designation) but it is open to all businesses. It covers all procurement areas including Architects – Engineers (A/Es) and subconsultants; construction contractors and subcontractors; as well as goods and services vendors.
The event is scheduled for March 30 and will take place at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center from 7am to 4pm. This annual event has grown dramatically over the last few years. There are already over an thousand attendees signed up with an expectation that there will be over 1500. CPO is working with the UW’s Business Diversity Program, Department of Purchasing, and the Foster School of Business in the overall coordination of the event.
The other agencies involved include: King County, Sound Transit, GA, City of Seattle, WSDOT, Port of Seattle, Prot of Tacoma, USGSA.
There are really three parts to the event:
- Main Hall - between fifty and a hundred tables will have representatives from many public agencies (including the sponsoring agencies and many more) to provide information to businesses looking to procure work with them. The UW will have 4 tables (CPO will be at one of them).
- Networking Events - modeled after the networking events that CPO conducted a couple of years ago for A/Es, the “speed networking” format will match large firms with small firms (primarily MWBE and DBE) for short (10 minute) interviews. There will be three networking events going on concurrently in different rooms: prime A/Es will meet with subconsultants; large contractors will meet with subcontractors, and goods and services buyers will meet with vendors and suppliers.
- Business Opportunity Presentations - throughout the day, the nine major event sponsors will be making short presentations (10 minutes) about upcoming business opportunities in the three major areas (A/E, construction and purchasing). This will take place in lecture room separate from the Main Hall and the Networking events. I will be discussing A/E opportunities at UW; someone from Purchasing will be discussing UW Goods and Services opportunities; and I am still looking for someone to discuss construction opportunities at UW.
For more information, see the Printer Friendly Information Sheet, go to the RCF Home Page, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to share this information with any A/Es or contractors you want or have them contact me. Also, the RCF is looking for volunteers for everything from greeters to tech support so let me know if you want be part of the event.