US Army Corps of Engineers
Chicago District

Small Business

Believe it!  Small businesses are a formidable force in our national, regional and local economy; a driver that not only stimulates job creation, spurs innovative prowess and growth, but assists the US Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District acquire the necessary equipment, supplies and services to execute our mission--to provide valued, world class leadership, engineering services, and management capabilities to stakeholders and partners in the Chicago region, the nation, and abroad. 

The Chicago District (LRC) is one of seven districts that comprise The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division (LRD). The other districts include: Buffalo, NY (LRB), Detroit, MI (LRE), Huntington, WV (LRH), Louisville, KY (LRL) Nashville, TN (LRN) and Pittsburg, PA (LRP).

The Chicago District partners with both large and small firms to facilitate and complete projects in nine mission areas: Flood Risk Management, Shoreline Protection, Navigation, Environmental, Emergency Management, Overseas Contingency Operations, Aquatic Invasive Species, Regulatory Support, and Real Estate. Additionally, the Chicago District works to foster maximum practicable opportunity for Women-Owned Small Business, Historically Underutilized Business Zones, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, and Small Business concerns to participate in, and receive an equitable portion of contracts awarded, and ensure subcontractor opportunities are afforded as well.

Moreover, the Chicago District actively pursues value-add partnerships with federal and state agencies such as the Small Business Administration, General Service Administration, Department of Veteran Affairs, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, in addition to associations and organizations like the Society of American Military Engineers for best practices and technical assistance programs. 

The Chicago District is committed to conducting business with qualified firms, and welcomes you to ask questions, or schedule a Capabilities Briefing with the Deputy for Small Business at lrc.sbo@usace.army.mil

If your small business has a regulatory compliance or enforcement issue, explore your rights at:  https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Ombudsman_FS_FAQ_01162015-1.pdf or, contact the SBA Office of the National Ombudsman at www.sba.gov/ombudsman for additional information.

Business Opportunities Open House

Please check back for updates on the next Business Opportunities Open House.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District hosted its second annual Business Opportunities Open House Feb. 20 for companies interested in job opportunities with the district and others in the surrounding area.

“It’s an honor to meet you and make some connections and talk about doing business,” Col. Aaron Reisinger, commander, USACE Chicago District, said. “Today is about building partnerships and gaining a common understanding. So please ask questions. We want more bids on our projects to support a greater array in our region. We want you to understand the Corps and enjoy working with the Corps. We are Chicago District but we represent the entire Corps and we want to work with you.”

About 125 business leaders attended the event at the Chicago District’s headquarters on South La Salle St. The Corps set up tables around the room where businesses could meet experts in construction, safety, civil, mechanical, electrical, structural, interagency and international services, public affairs, emergency management, contracting, and small business.

The purpose of the event is to provide direct access to leadership and to Corps officials most knowledgeable about the district’s operations, missions, and future requirements. The Chicago District’s mission focuses on flood risk management and storm damage reduction, navigation, environment, regulatory, emergency management, and interagency and international services. It’s one of seven districts that comprise the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division. Its other districts include Buffalo, Detroit, Huntington, Louisville, Nashville, and Pittsburgh.

“I love coming here,” Donald Pellico, business opportunities specialist from the Small Business Administration, said. “I meet a lot of interesting people. It’s cozy enough where you can form a good conversation. And the Corps is trying to be helpful. These are very sincere interactions. It’s real. Not fake. We love coming here and my firms who come here brag about coming here.”

The participants had three hours to get to know Chicago District personnel, and early feedback indicates many took full advantage of the opportunity of the free-flow of information. The majority were from the state of Illinois followed by Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin with a good mixture of small, other-than-small, service-disabled, women-owned, 8(a) small disadvantaged, and veteran-owned small businesses.

"We need to attend events like this to look at what opportunities are upcoming,” said Dave Krueger of Environmental Monitoring and Technologies, Inc. in Morton Grove.  “It's a way to communicate. I'm here to tell people about EMT, a DOD-certified testing lab. Not only are we DOD certified, but we are also a Service-Disabled-Veteran-Owned Small Business. There is a heightened awareness of SDVOSBs and a highlighted outreach. It gets us a seat at the table but it doesn't guarantee success. But it gives us a chance to compete and that's what we're looking for. A chance to compete."

Michelle Williams, deputy for Small Business, encouraged everyone to continue to attend outreach events like this, and to monitor the district’s (www.lrc.usace.army.mil) and Federal Business Opportunities websites (www.fbo.gov).   

“The event was successful and we had a great turn out for the BOOH,” Michelle Williams, deputy for Small Business, said. “I hope that individuals learn more about the working with the Corps and the current opportunities we have.”