Georgia Tech is helping the federal government address a critical need for government contract training by launching The Contracting Education Academy, a Defense Acquisition University (DAU) equivalency provider that will offer acquisition and public sector contracting for both the government and business communities. The Academy’s first course offering in July 2011 – Mission-Focused Contracting – is designed for personnel new to the contracting workforce or non-contracting personnel who play a role in the acquisition process and want to learn and apply problem-solving and negotiation skills.
Through interactive instruction and case studies, participants in this comprehensive, 10-day course will learn how government agencies:
- Complete a market research report;
- Develop a bid or proposal package;
- Evaluate proposals and award contracts;
- Monitor contractor performance, apply remedies and make proper contract payments; and
- Modify contracts, exercise options and complete the contract closeout process.
Rhonda Lynch, project manager for The Academy, points out that Mission-Focused Contracting is the capstone course for Level I federal contracting professionals as well as for all non-contracting personnel who play a role in the acquisition process.
“The beauty of this class is that it is applicable to both government and industry purchasing,” Lynch said. “This course engages the participant in the entire acquisition process, from meeting with the customer to completing the contract closeout process. Contracting officials and members of the contracting community alike will have the unique opportunity in this class to sit side-by-side to learn how the government acquisition process works.”
Stephen Fleming, the vice president and executive director of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI²), says that the idea for the Academy began last year as an outgrowth of a range of services offered to the government and business sectors.
“There are record high retirements from federal ranks and the number of jobs is increasing, so there is a huge demand for these classes,” he observed. “Every federal agency is represented in Atlanta, so in these budget-conscious days, having The Academy in the southeast can greatly reduce travel budgets.”
Within the first six months of operation, The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech was recognized by the DAU as an official equivalency provider of DAU course work. This is especially significant for at least two reasons. Since federal contracting professionals are required to obtain a certain amount of hours of contract training annually to keep their jobs, those located in Atlanta will not have to travel far to obtain training. Whereas local agencies and businesses view The Academy as a welcome resource for superior and convenient training, there is quite a bit of interest from prospective students outside of Georgia.
A chance to train at Georgia Tech, the availability of classroom seats, and the ease of access to the city of Atlanta are just three of the many pluses for The Academy. In addition, The Academy’s DAU-equivalent classes satisfy both the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) certification programs, which means contracting officials from any federal agency will receive credit toward their training requirements.
To register for The Academy’s inaugural class and subsequent classes, please visit http://contractingacademy.gatech.edu/training/. More information about The Academy, including training offerings and services, can be found on the web site at www.contractingacademy.gatech.edu or by contacting Rhonda Lynch at 404-894-6109 or ude.hcetag.ymedacagnitcartnocnull@adnohr.
About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
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Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA
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Writer: Nancy Fullbright