Making the transition from military service into the private sector is often a challenging undertaking, and even more so when the move is into a hyper-competitive industry like construction. Fortunately, being a veteran can mean opportunities if you know where to find them, particularly if the goal is to compete for government contracts.
Micah Nordquist is the founder and president of The Five 50 Group, a general construction and construction services company serving Central Florida and the Southeastern United States. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a field artillery veteran who served in the Iraq War.
As Nordquist was building The Five 50 Group, he looked for ways to distinguish his company from the competition. By its very name, the company sets itself apart. 550 (parachute) cord is well known in the military community for its versatility and reliability solving even the toughest problems, whether that be building an emergency shelter, securing equipment or fixing a field tourniquet. It is versatility and reliability that The Five 50 Group promises to every client: to do whatever it takes to see their project completed successfully and in a timely manner.
As he looked into diversifying his company by pursuing government contracts, Nordquist also identified the competitive benefits that come from being certified as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). “I have known from the beginning that, whatever business I am in, being certified as a SDVOSB was going to set me apart. As I did my research, I learned quickly that my first step was to find my local Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC),” Nordquist said recently.
“And so I turned to the Florida SBDC at UCF’s Government Contracting Services and Steve South, a Government Contracting Specialist through its Procurement Technical Assistance Center,” Nordquist continued. “”He partnered with me, educated me and prepared me for the application process from beginning to end: what I needed, literature to understand the process, tools to track collection and submission. Steve was there every step of the way.”
“Then, once my application was submitted and I was contacted by the Defense Logistics Agency’s Center for Verification and Evaluation about what more they needed, Steve South reviewed their requests, assisted me in creating a response startegy and helped me go through three rounds of review before the process was completed and my company was certified,” Nordquist went on to say.
“My certification was just the beginning of the influential role the FSBDC’s Government Contracting Services through its PTAC has played in the growth of my small business. Their services have provided me with business networking opportunities, partner matchmaking events, training and workshops. They have been key to me taking my next steps.”
“I would encourage anyone looking to win government contracts to seek out the FSBDC at UCF’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center and its outstanding consultants. It’s so amazing that there’s a resource like this and you don’t want to miss out,” Nordquist concluded.