Corrections or additions?
These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the May
30, 2001 edition of U.S.
1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Government Bids? NJIT Can Help
The Department of Defense is looking for a whole lot
of good landscapers, psychologists, building contractors, and even
teddy bear manufacturers. As are other government agencies. Bobbie
Lerner, assistant director of the Procurement Assistance Center
at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, says that government at
all levels is looking to outsourcing as a cost-efficient way to obtain
the thousands of categories of goods and services it needs. "This
is a great time to be a small business," Lerner says. The
center helps companies win government contracts.
Now in its 14th year, the Procurement Assistance Center helps
especially those owned by women or minorities, win government
It operates under a cost-sharing cooperative agreement between the
Department of Defense and the New Jersey Institute of Technology,
under the auspices of NJIT’s Office of Economic Development. The
purpose is to provide marketing, contractual, and technical assistance
to small New Jersey companies that are interested in selling their
goods and services to the Department of Defense and other government
NJIT holds a free seminar on "How to Do Business with the State
and Federal Government" on Thursday, June 7, at 10 a.m. at the
Mary G. Roebling Building in Trenton. Call 973-596-3105.
The center has grown from a one-person program with a budget of less
than $200,000 to a state-wide organization operating with a staff
of four and a budget of $500,000. It maintains offices in Newark,
Trenton, Mt. Holly, and Atlantic City.
Assistance is provided to firms through the sponsorship of outreach
workshops and seminars, implementation of government market research
in the form of bid information opportunities, and one-on-one
on all aspects of government procurement. Clients are trained in
and educated on the bidding process that leads to government
According to Lerner, the federal procurement process for small,
and minority-owned businesses was complicated by the enactment of
the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994. This act requires
the government to procure its goods and services electronically via
computer rather than through paper proposal submittals. This change
will be integrated within the next few years, and does away with over
200 federal acquisition laws as they apply to the purchase of goods.
The center is educating new bidders and veterans alike on the new
Since 1986 the center has helped New Jersey businesses secure more
than $435 million in government contracts. In fiscal 1998 the amount
was $77.3 million. It dropped down to a still impressive $53.6 million
in 1999. Lerner is still working on computing the figure for 2000.
Lerner urges anyone with a small business to consider bidding on
contracts. The Department of Defense, and other government departments
too, buy for their bases, their projects, their employees, and for
the employees’ families. That’s where the teddy bears come in. Lerner
said one of the center’s clients sells the stuffed animals, and,
its help, won a contract to place them in PXs.
Lerner says her center’s clients include doctors, lawn maintenance
companies, attorneys, builders, testing laboratories, office supply
companies, computer instructors, psychologists, landscapers, and many,
many more types of professionals and businesses. The government buys
anything a business — or a family — would buy. Toilet paper
to liquor, some government agency needs it.
Sure, Lerner admits, some agencies buy in enormous quantities, and
place their orders with large corporations. The twist here, she says,
is that any company with government contracts is bound by regulations
requiring it to purchase a percentage of its goods and services from
small, minority-owned, or women-owned businesses. While many people
think of government contracts in terms of missiles, the truth, says
Lerner is that anyone who sells cookies or shampoo to any federal
agency is a government contractor.
In its upcoming seminar, the center will go over the following
the center provides, including information pertaining to
opportunities, one-to-one technical assistance in completing bid
and other paperwork, and help in resolving federal government contract
One caveat from Lerner: Before you bid, you have to be a real
"One woman came up to me in a seminar," she recounts. "She
wanted to run a temp agency. She asked me what she should charge for
a stenographer." Laughing, Lerner says, "I didn’t know anyone
even used stenographers anymore." But if they do, she says, anyone
running a temp agency that supplies them had better know how much
to charge for them.
Businesses don’t have to have been in business for any particular
length of time to bid for government work, she says, adding that new
businesses do sometimes win bids. Any company, established or not,
should be aware, however, that "no one wins every bid." With
practice, businesses do get better at bidding and at estimating how
much it will cost them to complete a job.
The most important step for small businesses looking for new clients,
is to get in there and bid. Says Lerner, "If you’re not in it,
you can’t win it."
Allowing a job to become all-consuming may backfire,
stripping out time for the relationships and habits — even sleep
— that make for creative, productive time at work. Bryan
a Church & Dwight executive, addresses the need for balance when he
speaks on "Four Paradigm Shifts for Life in the Fast Lane"
on Friday, June 1, at 7 a.m. at a meeting of the Christian Business
Men’s Committee at the Princeton Hyatt. Cost: $20. Call 609-683-9300.
Harpine, a graduate of Gordon College, holds an MBA from the
School of Business at the University of New Hampshire. He balances
a busy career at Arm and Hammer, where he has launched a number of
products, including the Baking Soda Cleaning Shaker and Pet Fresh
Carpet Deodorizer, with time spent at home with his wife, Beverly,
and his children, Stephen and Julianna. He rounds out his life with
golf, water skiing, and golf.
Here are excerpts from some of Harpine’s prescriptions for keeping
work in its place:
If our values are right we typically set the right priorities. This
leads us to having the emotional and psychological energy to give
to our families after the working day is over. Also, to make room
in our schedules for enjoying the fruits of our labors is just as
important as laboring itself. We need to pencil in special dates that
give us joy in life. Planning ahead is key here rather than pushing
it off until the big project is done. Well guess what? There is always
another project right behind it.
It’s amazing how quickly the treadmill of life kicks in if we don’t
watch out. Those who study sleep deprivation say that in just the
second consecutive day after lack of sleep we begin to loose our
but not forgotten. Unfortunately, we are not perfect, although many
of us are what psychologists call perfectionists. No matter how good
we are at our jobs, hobbies, music, and sports, we make mistakes.
A daily time for reflection is key to growing in life. I know many
advertising writers who typically get the big creative idea during
book, "Developing the Leaders Around You," relayed that not
one of the thousands of people attending his seminars ever responded
to his invitation to tell him about an individual growth plan. Many
believe that doing a job well is the final goal in their development,
but developing others to their potential is a higher level skill.
Higher still is growing people to become leaders who can in turn
<B>Comcast employees have given disadvantaged job
seekers a boost by donating their lightly used career attire to the
American Red Cross, Tri-County Chapter’s Career Closet program. These
donations, 550 articles of clothing in all, allow Red Cross clients
to compete for jobs for which they would not considered without
and often expensive, business attire. The donated clothes were
at no charge by Introcaso Cleaners of Avenel and Jerry’s
Dry Cleaners of Brick. Another participating business was The
Bee of Bay Head, which donated clothing.
Mentoring Program for Women in Mathematics. The program was held at
the Institute for Advanced Studies for undergraduate students in
graduate students in mathematics — especially those who wish to
explore the area where mathematics and physics meet — and
researchers in the field. The emphasis is on mathematics learning
and research, mentoring, peer relations, and an introduction to career
The topic of this year’s sessions was quantum field theory,
and enumerative geometry. Among the participants were Jaimika Patel,
a student at St. Peter’s College; Lillian Pierce and Julia Salzman,
juniors at Princeton University; and Cynthia Rudin, a graduate student
in applied and computational mathematics at Princeton University.
Princeton University mathematicians Ingrid Daubechies and Sun-Yung
Alice Chang, Nancy Hingston of the College of New Jersey, and Robert
MacPherson, professor in the Institute’s School of Mathematics, were
among the academics serving on the organizing committee. The program
is under the direction of Karen Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas
at Austin, a former visiting scholar at the Institute.
has awarded a mini-grant to the Pace Charter School in Hamilton. The
grant is to assist with funding of a conflict resolution/violence
prevention/anger management program for faculty, parents, and
those in Princeton, Cranbury, Lawrenceville, Hillsborough, and
North Brunswick, have selected the Valerie Fund as their charity of
choice. The franchises, owned by Harsh and Sonia Chadha, will support
the Valerie Fund on various levels, including gifts-in-kind.
A non-profit organization organized in 1976, the Valerie Fund’s
is to help provide financial support for the comprehensive medical
care of children with cancer and blood disorders. It’s children’s
centers, located at New Jersey and New York hospitals, comprise one
of the country’s largest networks of health care facilities for
with these disorders.
Kiddie Academy will kick off its support of the Valerie Fund by
a gift-in-kind drive for its Camp Happy Times, a free one-week camping
experience for children ages 5 to 20 who have, or have had, cancer.
Approximately 200 children attend the camp each summer at Tyler Hill,
honored Ariel Shiner, an Eden W.E.R.C.s participant, for 20 years
of outstanding service.
Eden W.E.R.C.s is a division of Princeton-based Eden Family of
a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing lifespan services
for children and adults with autism. Scott Rieger, assistant director
of employment services, says area employers with Eden W.E.R.C.s’
on their personnel rosters include Lewis Parker Accountants
of Lawrence, the Montgomery Middle School, a number of Wawa
stores, U.S. 1 Newspaper, Banana Republic
of Herb Hinkle, Media Resources Group
Van Lines, Capital Lighting
Riviera Finance, Garden Theater
in Skillman, The Windrows, Leigh Photo and Imaging
Advanced Vending Systems.
Rieger says Eden W.E.R.C.s’ clients do best in a work atmosphere where
their tasks have significant structure. A job coach is assigned to
every two or three individuals, and will provide training to employers
if they request it.
Shiner, who began working for Wawa in March, 1981, is considered by
many a pioneer in opening the door for people with autism to gain
employment and make a living as contributing members of society.
Rieger says people with autism "want to do what normal people
do." That includes, he says, "getting up in the morning,
breakfast, and going to work."
School for the Deaf, defraying the cost of its Summer Education
by more than half. In addition, over 40 Merrill Lynch employees have
volunteered to learn American Sign Language and assist Katzenbach
teachers during this program.
The Summer Education Program is held during July and supports an
of 50 deaf students between the ages of 3 and 21 years of age. The
school offers special outreach educational programs, as well as a
Deafblind-Multihandicapped Unit for students 5 to 21 years old.
retirement housing provider in Princeton, helped patients of Mercer
County hospitals by donating 16 pints of blood to the American Red
of chemistry at Princeton University to honor Arthur A. Patchett of
Princeton’s Class of 1951. Patchett is a research chemist and former
vice president of medicinal chemistry at Merck.
The Arthur Allan Patchett Professorship in Organic Chemistry will
be created with a $3 million gift in recognition of Patchett’s
career at Merck, which spans more than four decades.
During his career, Patchett conducted groundbreaking research that
led to the development of several major cardiovascular drugs,
the ACE inhibitors enalapril and lisinopril and the HMG-CoA reductase
inhibitors lovastatin and simvastatin. Although Patchett retired last
year, he still plays an active role at Merck as a consultant.
Leadership Trenton, a new program to develop a network
of emerging civic leaders, is being developed by graduates of
New Jersey. Leadership New Jersey is a statewide leadership program
sponsored by The Partnership for New Jersey and by the John S. Watson
Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State College.
Leadership Trenton will benefit the city by enlarging and
its network of well-informed, motivated civic leaders, who will, in
turn, put their skills to work on behalf of Trenton and of its
With support from The Fund for New Jersey and the Princeton
Area Community Foundation, the Leadership Trenton Committee has
begun the process of researching and designing a program that will
fit Trenton’s needs. Enrolling 25 to 40 Fellows each year, the program
curriculum will offer opportunities to explore and analyze major
confronting the city. A year-long series of seminars, simulations
and case studies will allow each Fellow to analyze, adopt a position
on and persuade others to take action on these issues.
The Leadership Program will be overseen by Nelida Valentin,
director of the Center for Leadership Development in the Watson
who brings 14 years of project management, training, staff
and corporate communication experience to this position.
The Partnership for New Jersey is an association of the chief
of many of New Jersey’s leading corporations and selected non-profit
institutions. It created Leadership New Jersey in 1986 to prepare
emerging civic leaders to act effectively on issues of statewide
to join a growing network of leadership that would span the state.
Graduates of the statewide program and The Partnership formed College
Leadership New Jersey, now in its 10th year, and began Leadership
Newark in 1977. Leadership Trenton will be the Partnership’s second
issues-based urban leadership development program.
For more information, or to nominate a candidate for the first
Trenton class, or to get involved in the initiative contact Valentin
at 609-777-4351 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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