November 19, 2004

Southwestern College’s San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center Launches Mentor Protégé Assistance Academy

New Program Provides Assistance and Guidance to Small Businesses

Chula Vista – Southwestern College’s San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC) is launching its Mentor Protégé Assistance Academy, a new program to help small businesses establish relationships with prime contractors and local, state, and federal government agencies.

“The Academy is specifically designed to assist small and disadvantaged businesses to overcome those barriers inhibiting their success in working with large contractors and government agencies,” said Gunnar Schalin, SDCOC’s Project Manager.

Scheduled to start in January of 2005, the Academy will host workshops and provide assistance designed to build bridges between large and small businesses, as well as government agencies. Among them:

• Familiarization Seminar

o Understanding Mentor Protégé

• Essential Knowledge Workshops

o Understanding Government Sales

o Accessing Capital

o Managing Liabilities

“In Short, attending the familiarization seminar you’ll learn something about the SDCOC and the various Mentor Protégé programs in the area; attend the Essential Knowledge Area workshops to learn what you have to do to make your company more attractive to prime contractors and to enhance the value of your company; attend the mixers and do some networking” added Schalin.

Protégé’s that are accepted into the program will benefit from on-site assessment, gap analysis, and corrective-action plan and customize training for their organization. Protégé will further benefit from the Academy access to technical consultants, government agencies and private firms.

Established in 1995, the SDCOC brings together experts from various disciplines in the private and public business sector such as Southwestern College and its Small Business Development and International Trade Center, the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE, the National Contract Management Association, the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, and more than 60 private consultants and Military organizations.

The Center conducts workshops and community outreach events to assist small and emerging firms enter and grow in the federal, state, and local government market. The Center helps small, minority, disabled-veteran and women-owned businesses identify government contracts and orders.

Since the Center opened, it has helped local small businesses procure nearly $150 million in government prime and subcontracts. The SDCOC provides services in four locations throughout San Diego County, including Chula Vista, Mission Valley, Santee and Oceanside and is contemplating opening additional ones.

Interested parties can apply for a space in the Mentor Protégé Assistance Academy beginning November 15, 2004 by calling (619) 285-7020 or online at Individuals and organizations wishing to contribute their skills and/or financial resources to a workshop or mixer can email Shep Mais at

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