Recently, Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton sat down with North Carolina Military Business Center Executive Director Scott Dorney via Zoom and filmed an episode of Critical Conversations. In this series, Scott talks with professionals about economic development issues affecting the state.
Dorney has served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Military Business Center since December 1, 2004.
A statewide component of the North Carolina Community College System (with 15 offices statewide), the North Carolina Military Business Center is a business development and technology transition organization that connects North Carolina businesses to federal contracts, connects military and other job seekers to employment and helps recruit defense contractors to North Carolina.
Dorney served nearly 22 years on active duty as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. Prior to joining the North Carolina Military Business Center in 2004, Dorney served for six years as the Chief Officer for Support Services for the City of Fayetteville. In this capacity, he directed the Human Resources department and had management responsibility for Risk Management, Information Technology and Graphic Services.
North Carolina has the fourth highest number of military people of any state in the United States, explained Dorney. The military has an approximately $79.7 billion impact on our economy, Dorney said, according to a recent Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) study. The military is second to agriculture in North Carolina.
In 2004, the military had a huge presence in our state, but North Carolinians were not able to access as many of the federal contracts as state leaders knew was possible, Dorney explained. In January 2005, the North Carolina Military Business Center was created to connect North Carolina businesses with federal government contracts.
The best way to connect to federal government contracts, Dorney said, was to register on Matchforce.org. Match Force connects North Carolina businesses with federal contract opportunities. This includes small businesses and large industries. Dorney explained that the Military Business Center through Matchforce.org provides opportunities for prime contracts as well as subcontracts and teaming. There are both big and small opportunities, said Dorney. Register, create a profile, and then the opportunities are matched up with the registered businesses. Only North Carolina businesses can register in Match Force. Match Force imports all business opportunities and then matches the opportunities to the registered businesses. Registered businesses then get an email about the opportunities that match their services.
Dorney stated that the North Carolina Military Business Center is part of the best infrastructure in the world to help businesses get started and grow. The North Carolina Military Business Center is part of building the business capacity in the state through a network that includes the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community College System’s Small Business Centers, Small Business & Technology Development Center, and more. To add on to the existing business building infrastructure, the North Carolina Military Business Center looks at the demand side of the federal contracts.
The scale of federal contracting is huge, said Dorney. In 2022, businesses in North Carolina earned $9 billion in primary federal contracting opportunities. The federal government is the biggest buyer in the world, Dorney explained. The federal government wants to do business with small businesses, in fact 23% of all federal contracts are set aside for small businesses.
The North Carolina Military Business Center also has a Strategic Initiatives Program. While the main focus is monitoring federal opportunities and connecting opportunities to businesses, the center also does a lot of training for businesses. In fact, the North Carolina Military Business Center has industry focused events throughout the year to connect businesses to opportunities. Dorney said, you want to go to these events because every government agency will be there. Businesses interested in connecting with the events should register at Matchforce.org, said Dorney.
The North Carolina Military Business Center locations are at Fayetteville Technical Community College (headquarters and a local office), Wake Technical Community College (two offices), Craven Community College, Cape Fear Community College, Catawba Valley Community College, Central Piedmont Community College, Wayne Community College, College of the Albemarle, Blue Ridge Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, Coastal Carolina Community College, Carteret Community College, and one office in transition. Businesses can connect with North Carolina Military Business Center’s regional staff by visiting https://www.ncmbc.us/category/staff/.
Critical Conversations is a feature in the Golden LEAF newsletter every month. The next edition will be in our May 11th edition of LEAF Lines.