HOLTVILLE - The Imperial Valley hosted its first ever procurement fair. It took place in Holtville at the Barbara Worth Country Club early on Thursday morning.
The Procurement Fair has taken place annually in San Diego for the last 9 years. With the unemployment rate being so high in The Imperial Valley, they decided to bring it here and the response was very positive.
"It's all about creating jobs", says Business Consultant, Lynn Pittman. "If a small business gets a contract, they can hire more people and that's what we want. It's all about pulling everyone together to create economic impact for Imperial Valley".
And coming together was right as dozens of Imperial Valley businesses set up booths at the fair on Thursday morning.
The event gave all of them the opportunity to connect to see the many services they can offer each other, as well as how to create the one thing that Imperial County needs; jobs.
"We're hoping that we have something that you do that we need to get from you", says Caltrans Business Service Manager, La Sonja Boulware. "It could either be a service, a commodity, it could be a contracting opportunities. We cover the whole gamut here today".
The Procurement Fair also featured 3 informative workshops. Representatives from Naval Air Facility El Centro gave the "Doing Business with NAF" workshop, Caltrans District 11 gave the "Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification Workshop" and Laurie Franks gave the "Navigating the Contracting Process" workshop.
She says that sometimes residents aren't aware that they can apply for certain jobs.
"It's important to us to make sure that everyone has ample opportunity to submit responses to our solicitations and get the word out that anyone can apply for a job at IID. Anything from goods & services, to pens & pencils, to construction work".
Master of Ceremonies Les Hawthorne says that The Imperial Valley has more jobs than what people think. He says that the county has reason to be optimistic.
"There are over 40 projects going in The Imperial Valley right now that are designed to bring jobs and industry and revenue back here to the local communities. As these things are happening, people will be invigorated, once again, to realize that they don't have to anywhere else for their opportunities".
The connections that local businesses made here, from the smallest, to the biggest, will create jobs, and nobody needs it more than The Imperial Valley.
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