SEPTEMBER 26 2023 — The UTSA Institute for Economic Development launched its Procurement Academy yesterday with an event featuring U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro and Henry Cisneros, chairman of local investment firm American Triple I. The academy will give small businesses the knowledge, tools and support they need to secure state government contracts.
“San Antonio is home to thousands of talented, hard-working entrepreneurs who deserve a fair shot at taxpayer-funded contracts,” said Castro, who secured the funding for this initiative. “For years, I’ve been working with city and national leaders to help more women- and minority-owned businesses get a foothold in the procurement economy. The UTSA Procurement Academy will unlock new opportunities for small businesses and set them up to create jobs and build prosperity across San Antonio.”
The UTSA academy will help small businesses successfully navigate state, local and federal agencies. Through the initiative, UTSA will provide training in the public contracting process including the bidding process, documentation requirements, strategy plans, contract management and regulation compliance to position local small businesses to secure government contracts. The focus of the academy will be state contracting, but it will also help participants identify local and federal contracting opportunities.
The first cohort of 25 local small businesses will graduate from the Procurement Academy on Monday, December 4.
“We appreciate the work of Congressman Castro in helping start this UTSA Procurement Academy,” said Albert Salgado, assistant vice president for small business and community engagement for the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, which facilitates economic, community and business initiatives. Salgado also serves as the executive director of the Texas South-West Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, and he worked with Castro to secure the academy’s funding.
“This academy is the beginning of our and our partners efforts to build a regional network across Central, South and West Texas to support small businesses in participating in the procurement economy and to grow Texas’ economy. Small businesses and the state will prosper,” he added.
The IED is a regional economic development hub offering programs and services to support small businesses. The hub collaborates with local and regional partners throughout south and west Texas, including Supply SA, one of the procurement academy’s partners. Supply SA is supported by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai, LiftFund President and CEO Janie Barrera and Cisneros.
“The Supply SA initiative is committed to establishing a modernized, coordinated, accessible and more effective procurement system for our San Antonio region,” said Cisneros, moderator of Supply SA. “The UTSA Procurement Academy advances this idea and is an important demonstration of what federal, state and local stakeholders can do to develop suppliers in our region and help them successfully bid on and win public contracts.”
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