With nearly $3 billion in government contracts on the table, the California Contracting/Acquisition/Procurement Industry Days Expo came to Kerr McGee Center, giving small business the chance to network with people involved with the contracting process – mostly from Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, but also featuring other installations around the country, such as Point Mugu – and learn the tools of the trade.

The two-day event, put together by the Ridgecrest Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, featured guest speakers and workshops, all with the aim for putting together missions of the base and business together.

“It’s putting the small businesses, the contractors, the entrepreneurs who are interested in getting a contract with NAWCWD in the same room,” said RACVB marketing and events coordinator Kari Crutcher. This coincides with the base’s Long Range Acquisition Forecast, which specifies the contracts for the next three years for NAWCWD. 

Day 1 – Wednesday – was veteran- and small business-centric, featuring a panel with the Small Business Administration and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, among other organizations. Day 2 – Thursday – zoomed in on NAWCWD specifically and was LRAF-centric. 

With attendees coming from all over the country, the event is transactional for RACVB as well, as CCAP highlighted the “C” in RACVB.

“This is extremely valuable to Ridgecrest because ... the business that is brought here as a result of CCAP really has the potential to economically impact our town,” Crutcher said.