Story excerpt provided by GovLoop. Written by Gabrielle Wonnell.

Until last week, I had never heard of a Procurement Technical Assistance Center, or PTAC. Then an email came across my inbox from my alma mater (yes, I read those) that mentioned a partnership with NASA. I did a double take. And a triple take. I earned my masters from a state university nestled in Appalachia. Not on the cape or coast of anything. What in the world could NASA want there?

Investing in Small Business

So I did a little research and learned what a Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) actually is. As a former contract manager for federally funded social service programs, I was floored. This program helps small businesses launch into government contracting on the right course. Too often I have seen agencies misunderstand the complex rules or government-paced payment timelines. They would only find themselves in trouble on the back end of a contract.

Then I discovered that Ohio University houses my home state’s largest PTAC. While it is one of five PTACs in the state of Ohio, it has six regional offices serving 55 of the state’s 88 counties. And 2017 was their most successful year to date as they helped the small businesses they work with to earn $592 million in contracts.

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