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August 9, 2001

Info sessions in Farmington Aug. 16, Albuquerque Aug. 21,
Las Cruces Aug. 23

New Sandia program aims to help regional small businesses become better, more effective suppliers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Small businesses wanting to improve their business practices and procedures to become better, more effective suppliers can learn more about a new program to help them do that in free information sessions this month in three New Mexico cities: Farmington, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces.

Sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories’ Office of Small Business Advocacy in collaboration with Sandia Supplier Relations, the new program is designed to help small businesses (500 or fewer employees) and create a positive economic impact in a “regional service area” including New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and El Paso County, Texas.

Formally called the Mentor/Protege Pilot Program for Small businesses, it will involve mentors from Sandia and some of its proven suppliers, proteges (small business participants who want to become better suppliers), and business service advisors. These advisors will include service providers and Sandia employees who will help with short-term solutions with issues requiring expertise that a regular mentor does not have.

Information sessions are tentatively scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Aug. 16 in Farmington, 1-3 p.m. Aug. 21 in Albuquerque, and 3-5 p.m. Aug. 23 in Las Cruces.

Any potentially interested small business in the regional service area can get additional information including exact time and location for each information session from Sandia’s project manager, Toni Leon Kovarik, at 505-843-4150 or tlkovar@sandia.gov beginning Monday, Aug. 13.

Kovarik emphasizes that the program is not just for companies that are now or want to be Sandia suppliers. “It’s for any small business that wants to improve its business practices and procedures to become a better supplier in general,” she says.

She also stresses that small businesses attending the information session are under no obligation to join the program. Businesses wishing to actually join the program have until Sept. 1 to complete and turn in an application.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia technical contact:
Toni Leon Kovarik, tlkovar@sandia.gov, (505) 843-4150

Sandia media contact:
Janet Carpenter, jacarpe@sandia.gov, (505) 844-7841


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