By Albert Rivas, Deputy Chief
CDCR Office of External Affairs

Contract awards are an important economic engine for California small and disabled veteran businesses owners, and the state recently recognized the efforts of two agencies who are making it a priority.

Governor Brown and prior administrations have released executive orders or signed legislation supporting local contracting by state agencies with Small Businesses. Top honors in contracting went to Small Business teams at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS).

State Agency Recognition Award (Gold)

CCHCS representatives received the State Agency Recognition Award (Gold). The award is given to departments demonstrating excellence in small business contract awards and program management.

During fiscal year fiscal year 2013-14, CCHCS helped California suppliers learn how to do business with their contract and procurement teams through various events, such as “Get Connected” or Veteran business forums to help educate local suppliers about how to do business with CCHCS. More than 70 percent of contract or procurement awards were made to small businesses and over six percent of awards were made to disabled veteran business enterprises.

The agency provided business support and technical assistance to Certified California suppliers, which resulted in local businesses designation criteria and have grown into large businesses.

State Agency Recognition Award (Bronze)

Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) was honored with a State Agency Recognition Award (Bronze).

Over the last five years, PVSP has continued to increase small business participating. From 2009/2010 fiscal year through 2013/2014, the prison increased small business participation from 44.54 percent to 83.01 percent and disabled veteran business participation from 4.52 percent to 15 percent.

PVSP attributes its success to the support of administration and staff making every effort to solicit bids from SB/DVBE vendors.

Advocate of the Year

Linda Langley, Procurement and Services Officer II, serves as the Small Business Advocate for Wasco State Prison and was named Advocate of the Year (Bronze).

The prison is located in the central valley in a remote location, making for great opportunities for Langley to demonstrate her passion for small business technical support. Over four years, she has averaged the institutional spending with small business suppliers at 75.38 percent with a peak of 80.92 percent.

She also aims to drive competition among disabled veteran businesses and has awarded 8.31 percent to California veteran business owners.