GACO helps businesses obtain lucrative contracts

California University of Pennsylvania’s Government Agency Coordination Office (GACO) has achieved a significant goal by helping area businesses obtain more than $3.1 billion in government contracts.

GACO began operations in 1985 and over the past 29 years has provided the support, advice and technical assistance a business needs to enter into this market. The program began at California University but expanded its operation to include two satellite offices located in Pittsburgh and at Slippery Rock University. Each office is staffed with procurement professionals that provide the guidance businesses require to enter into government contracting.

According to Deborah S. Wojcik, GACO director, clients have reported receiving 49,349 contracts and subcontracts totaling more than $3,154,535,936. GACO is now assisting 1,631 regional businesses in their contracting endeavors.

“Since initiating our contracting assistance program we have helped many regional businesses understand the procurement process and become suppliers of goods and services to government agencies,” Wojcik said. “Our program basically gives businesses a chance to compete for an opportunity to sell to the government on the federal, state and local level and to prime contractors.”

GACO provides a variety of services to help businesses sell their products and/or services to the government. These include: identifying federal supply class codes, service codes, and NAICS codes, notifying companies of bid opportunities for federal, state and local government contracts and subcontracts, advising on bid preparation, assisting with filing applications for placement on state and local bidders’ lists, providing specifications and standards data for federal contracts, researching historical cost data to provide past procurement information on products, and educating companies on doing business electronically. GACO also provides its clients with training in government contracting procedures and issues through seminars, webinars and an annual procurement fair.

GACO operations are supported by grants from the Sarah Scaife Foundation and the Defense Logistics Agency.

Area businesses interested in obtaining additional information about the services available through GACO may do so by calling Tracy Julian at 724-938-5881 or accessing http://www.calu.edu/business-community.

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