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Hampton Roads Procurement Assistance Center Changes Name to Old Dominion University Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Change is in the air for the Hampton Roads Procurement Assistance Center (HRPAC).

The program that helps businesses compete successfully in the government marketplace is changing its name from the HRPAC to the Old Dominion University Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ODU PTAC). The program is also moving to Bank Street in downtown Norfolk in July.

ODU PTAC is a federal program that for more than 10 years has assisted local businesses to position themselves to bid competitively for federal, state and local government contracts.

The name change was made to reflect the organization's role under the auspices of a larger program, the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) and to include the host, Old Dominion University.

"I believe the name change will resonate with people and is less confusing. It is who we are, a PTAC at ODU," said Monique McWhite, director of the ODU PTAC.

PTAP was authorized by Congress in 1985 in an effort to expand the number of businesses participating in the government marketplace. Administered by the Department of Defense Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the program provides matching funds through agreements with state and local governments and nonprofit organizations for the establishment of PTACs to provide procurement assistance. ODU PTAC assistance is free and comes in the forms of teaching, mentoring and coaching. It also provides clients with tools to research and identify government contracting.

ODU PTAC services eight cities: Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Hampton, Norfolk, Newport News, Surry, Sussex and Franklin. There are 94 PTACs throughout the United States, with more than 300 offices.

ODU PTAC provides workshops and seminars for small business owners. The sessions are divided into three categories: Beginner (less than three years in business or no government contracting experience), intermediate (three to five years in business with some government contracting experience) and advanced (more than five years of government contracting experience). ODU PTAC also holds a "How to Work" series, where government agencies speak to small businesses about their specific processes and provide tips and best practices.

Another popular event is the Small Business Outreach, where prime contractors meet with local small businesses to discuss subcontracting work.

For more information about ODU PTAC, contact McWhite at mmcwhite@odu.edu or 757-683-5542.

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