Several local and regional businesses had an opportunity to network with representatives from NASA and its prime contractor in Jackson County on Wednesday.

The Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Jackson County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, hosted a business forum titled, “How to Launch Your Business With NASA,” at the Goose Pond Colony Civic Center.

Scottsboro Mayor Robin Shelton and Senator Steve Livingston were excited about the event and what it could bring to the area.

“For the city of Scottsboro, it’s a big deal for us to host something like this,” said Shelton. “Scottsboro is always open to new business, and we’ll do all when can to accommodate new business.”

“We would love for your business to locate here, and for you all to visit The Friendly City and all of Jackson County,” said Livingston.

The event was open to all businesses and allowed them to connect with Senior NASA representatives and their prime contractors. The program guided businesses through the process of working with NASA as a supplier, subcontractor and/or service provider.

Marshall’s projected procurement budget in 2019 is approximately $16.6 billion and numerous procurement opportunities are available for small business participation each fiscal year.

“We are excited to bring David Brock and the NASA team back to Jackson County,” said Rick Roden, president and CEO of Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve had success in this area before, and we hope to help other businesses duplicate the success that Avans, Inc. has experienced. Their attendance in the past led to eventually doing business with Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne.”

Over 20 prime contractors will be in attendance at this returning event. The program included Marshall Associate Center Director Steve Miley, Marshall Small Business Specialist David Brock, Troy Miller of NASA Shared Services Center, Marshall Small Business Technical Advisor Lynn Garrison and Esther Veras of NASA Mentor Protégé Program.

Additionally, there was a prime contractor panel that consists of representatives from five NASA contractors. The event concluded with a dedicated networking session with those prime contractors. There was also be a chance to connect with area businesses, thanks to the technology provided by Mixtroz.com.

“The key to any successful business endeavor is building relationships,” said Brock. “This event provided those in attendance the opportunity to network with key Marshall procurement and technical personnel, and representatives of several major contractors. Remember, you’ve got to make contacts to make contracts, and that is what this event is really about. From pencil erasers to rockets, there is an opportunity for you.”

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