Dolcey Chaplin likes to say that she helps put New Jersey to work. Chaplin, an attorney by profession, is the executive director of the Defense Procurement Technical Assistance Center (DPTAC) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The Center is a free source of practical education and useful assistance for the New Jersey business community to help obtain government contracts.
ATTENTION EDITORS: You’re invited to the annual DPTAC luncheon Dec. 6, 2004, 10 a.m.-noon, Room 235, NJIT Campus Center, to witness the university and the Department of Defense (DOD) once again sign the agreement to fund the program. Call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436, or Chaplin, 973-596-5807, for more details.
Speakers at the event will include Colonel Mitchell A. Howell, USA Commander, DCMA Springfield, and NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch, PhD.
Now in its 18th year, the Center operates under an agreement to provide marketing, contractual and technical assistance to small, women-owned and minority-owned New Jersey companies interested in selling goods and services to DOD and other agencies.
“I’m proud of this program,” said Chaplin, “But this year, I’m amazed to look back over the past decade and see that our office has facilitated more than 54,000 counseling sessions. That means helping many people in New Jersey make money by obtaining good contracts.”
Federal regulators define a small business to include manufacturing companies that employ less than 500 workers. A service company's size is determined by annual gross sales. The State of New Jersey legislates all firms to be small if they employ less then 100 workers.
The Center has grown from a one-person program with a budget of less than $200,000 to a statewide organization operating with a staff of four professionals and an annual budget of over $600,000. The Center maintains four offices throughout New Jersey. The main office is at NJIT: satellite offices are located in Trenton, Mount Holly and Atlantic City.
Assistance is provided to business firms through the sponsorship of outreach workshops and seminars, the implementation of government market research in the form of bid information opportunities, and one-on-one counseling sessions on all aspects of government procurement. The Center’s offerings have reflected the changes in the government market place.
“We train our clients in E-Commerce,” said Chaplin. “We educate them about bidding and advocate using certification to obtain prime and subcontracting opportunities.”
Chaplin noted that her task is not easy. “The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (1994) complicated the federal procurement process for small, women-owned and minority-owned New Jersey businesses,” she said. The act requires the government to procure its goods and services electronically via computer rather than through proposal submissions. “To comply with these new regulations, many more people than ever before need our help,” Chaplin said.