Northrop Grumman: “one of our best small business events”

Nearly 130 small and diverse manufacturers and other businesses attended a one-day supplier summit with defense contractor Northrop Grumman on July 21 in Renton. Congressman Adam Smith delivered keynote remarks at the event organized by Commerce, Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, and the Washington Center for Women in Business.

The event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to showcase Washington innovation, manufacturing capability and talent, and demonstrate the value of our state’s small businesses to the defense giant’s supply chain.

Participants got an overview of Northrop Grumman’s procurement processes and had small group meetings with representatives in aerostructures, mission support, tech services and corporate divisions.
They also learned from a panel of local experts who provide services and support for small businesses in Washington state.

To put things in perspective, large Department of Defense (DOD) prime contractors like Northrop Grumman frequently have events like this, but rarely do they come to Washington state. Distance can be a barrier to small businesses with limited ability to travel to big company headquarters or hubs for DOD acquisition activity.

At this event, the Northrop Grumman team specifically sought to meet with small and diverse suppliers and subcontractors: women-owned, minority-owned, service disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone certified firms. DOD and other federal contracts encourage diverse contracting.

Northrop Grumman’s outreach team reported that this is one of the best such events they’ve had anywhere and indicated they plan to return next year and perhaps make this an annual event.

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