Ohio University PTAC Akron client Peaceful Fruits was recently featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.
Ohio University PTAC Akron client Peaceful Fruits was recently featured on ABC’s Shark Tank.

Ohio University program helped businesses win more than $395 million in government contracts

Daniel Kington
June 13, 2017

The Ohio University Procurement Technical Assistance Center (OU PTAC), part of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, had a challenging year in 2016 but still excelled in its mission of connecting businesses looking to sell with governments looking to buy – and did a better job in accomplishing that mission than ever before.

In May 2016, OU PTAC lost one of its five leading staff members and had an open position for six months. However, the other four members of the team stepped in to provide added assistance to businesses in the program’s 55 county service area.

“Because we have a very experienced staff, we were able to manage the extra load, and we were able to not only fulfill clients’ needs, but we were also able to keep up our numbers,” Sharon Hopkins, director of OU PTAC, said.

In fact, OU PTAC had its best year to date both in terms of the number of government contracts it helped clients earn and the dollar value of those contracts. Over the course of the fiscal year, the program helped businesses earn 6,298 awards for a total value of over $395 million in government contracts. This lead to a $100 million increase in business contracts earned over 2015, and $80 million more than the program’s previously most successful year. Among the bussinesses assisted was Peaceful Fruits, which was recently featured on ABC's Shark Tank.

“The program boosted the bottom lines of the businesses we work with, and likely helped them to create and retain jobs,” Hopkins said. “Knowing that kind of money is coming into our 55 counties is fantastic.”

In addition to the dedication of the program’s staff, the substantial advancement in contract awards was made possible by the program’s investment in better and more efficient technologies. In the fiscal year 2016, the program was able to use a new database to connect its clients with more government contracts more efficiently. The database services also helped OU PTAC improve its ability to track the number of contracts and dollars its clients were able to secure through the program’s assistance.

 “We have experience-driven staff who are willing and capable of assisting a client in any phase of contracting with the government,” Hopkins said. “I would invite any company that is interested in moving into that market to contact us. Our services are of no cost to them.”