On Boeing and Government Contracts

Boeing Tanker

By now, you’ve heard about Boeing’s big win last week. The airplane maker won a $35 billion – that’s billion – contract with the United States Air Force to build the next generation of Air Refueling Tankers – the KC-46A. Boeing beat the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) for the contract.

One of the two plants where workers will build the tankers is in Everett, Wash. (the other is in Wichita, Kan.) That means money and jobs will stay in state and trickle out to the rest of the region, thus improving our economy. In fact, Spokane’s aerospace industry will benefit greatly.

This contract came from the Air Force, which is part of the Department of Defense, which is, of course, part of the government. Therefore, it’s – all together now – a government contract. Government contracts are out there for almost any business. Let’s see how you can find new customers within the government.

Your first move, of course, is to get involved with the Eastern Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), which is part of Greater Spokane Incorporated. PTAC hosts government contracting classes each month and helps businesses find leads within the government.


For example, Carr Sales Company – a small, family-owned wholesale electrical distributor founded in 1920 – has been in business for more than 90 years. Thanks to government contracts and diversifying its customer base, it’s been able to keep going while other companies have closed due to the recession.

The company has the ability to bid on small and large projects for a new addition to the Veteran’s Medical Center. Carr Sales Company’s government contracts helped continue the employment of 18 people in both the Clarkston and Spokane communities.

There are a lot of details you need to know when working with the government. PTAC will help you assist with government regulations and certifications with its “Getting Started” guide and individual counseling sessions.

And don’t think that all the contracts go to large corporations and businesses. To ensure the small businesses get a fair share of contracts, the government has a set of statutory goals:

  • 23 percent of prime contracts for small businesses;
  • 5 percent of prime and subcontracts for women-owned small businesses;
  • 3 percent of prime contracts for HUBZone small businesses;
  • 3 percent of prime and subcontracts for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

There are lots of ways to connect with PTAC. First, you could email Leslie Miller in our PTAC office, or call 321.3641. PTAC is also on Twitter and Facebook, so there are plenty of ways to get information.

If you’re looking to diversify your customer base – or if you just need new customers – the government is a big buyer.


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