by Debbie Rauen, Legendary Hills Communications
John Dubay has built a successful company in Spokane that combines business-to-business services and government contracting. And he’s taken a unique path to finding qualified employees.
Strategic Contact Solutions provides businesses with services often done by an inside sales team – business development, account management, customer service, surveys and other ‘back office’ support. The team providing these services is made up of individuals who are blind and visually impaired.
Dubay says, “After my position with a large international company based in Kirkland was outsourced to India after being sold, I began doing consulting work. When former clients called and wanted recommendations for a new service provider, I decided to start my own business.
“I had met a young woman, a recent Whitworth graduate, at a job fair. She really impressed me –and became one of my first two hires when I started my company. And, by the way, she’s blind. She was a phenomenal employee and I learned there is a 70-75% national unemployment rate for the blind. I began reaching out to find other highly qualified, motivated workers who were blind or visually impaired.”
As the business grew, John decided to look into government contracting and attended a Small Business Administration class taught by a staff person from PTAC.
PTAC, short for Washington State Procurement Technical Assistance Center, has offices around the state to provide no-cost, confidential assistance in all aspects of doing business with federal, state and local governments. This includes bid reviews, marketing assistance, contract performance, small business designations, and more. The Spokane area PTAC is part of Greater Spokane, Inc. (GSI).
Dubay says, “There are a lot of government contracts out there, but the bulk of them are going to companies in the Tri Cities and west of the Cascades. We have great entrepreneurs in the Spokane area that would benefit from getting these government contracts. I would highly recommend checking with PTAC to see what opportunities exist for your business.
“The counselors at PTAC helped me every step of the way, through all the hurdles and hoops of government contracting. They have continued to help me, even identifying opportunities that would never have occurred to me. I am a huge advocate for their services.
“My best advice? Be prepared, leverage the resources that are available, put yourself in the capable hands of PTAC staff and you’ll be successful.”
For more information: https://greaterspokane.org/government-contracting or call 509- 321-3641.