2 Air Force Mentor-Protégé teams capture DOD awards

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Two U.S. Air Force Mentor-Protégé company teams captured Nunn-Perry awards March 7 at the annual Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Conference here. The awards recognize outstanding efforts by DOD prime contractors, or mentors, and their protégé small businesses.

The Air Force mentor-protégé winners are:

-- Northrop Grumman and Hi-Tech Electronic Manufacturing, Inc., both of San Diego

-- Jacobs Engineering Group, Pasadena, Calif., and Cabrera Services, East Hartford, Conn.

"These Mentor-Protégé teams achieve great results for America," said Ronald Poussard, director of Air Force Small Business Programs. "They contribute immensely to both the U.S. Air Force and our nation. By making an investment to help grow these small businesses, the prime contractors help strengthen our industrial base and sustain Air Force warfighting capabilities."

The Air Force Mentor-Protégé Program had an average return on investment of 30:1 in fiscal 2006, and generated a total job growth of 47 percent.

"The Air Force Mentor-Protégé Program and these partnerships focus on technologies that support our warfighters," said Sathedia L. Bush, program manager. "The success indicators are the return on investment and increases in revenues and jobs for the small businesses."

Northrop Grumman teamed with Hi-Tech Electronic Manufacturing, a Small Disadvantaged Business, with mentoring assistance provided by Southwestern College, a Minority Institution in Chula Vista, Calif., to mentor on providing value-added electronic manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers. High-Tech Electronic Manufacturing integrates components, including its printed circuit board and cable and harness assemblies, into higher-level sub-assemblies and total system assemblies. During the period of this partnership, the company's employee base has increased more than 16 percent, and its monthly gross revenue increased by 67 percent.

Jacobs Engineering Group partnered with Cabrera Services, Inc., an 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business, with mentoring assistance provided by Florida International University of Miami, a Minority Institution, to help the company develop as an industry leader in the radiological environmental restoration and remedial construction areas. Cabrera has developed into a company that handles high-hazard nuclear facility clean-up and closure, construction and unexploded ordnance remediation. During the period of the award, Cabrera posted a 33 percent increase in employees and a 13 percent increase in revenues.

The Mentor-Protégé Program seeks to encourage prime contractors to develop the technical and business capabilities of small businesses. Awards are determined by the successes of the mentor-protégé team in achieving cost efficiencies, enhancing the protégé's technical capabilities, and increasing new business opportunities for prime contracts and subcontracts.

Through the presentation of the Nunn-Perry Award, DOD recognizes superior program performance by Mentor-Protégé teams. The award, which is named in recognition of former Senator Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, was first awarded in 1995 to recognize outstanding Mentor-Protégé teams.

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