Parish to go to GE symposium

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish businesses interested in adding a new customer to their clientele are leaving the office behind Friday to visit Louisiana Tech University’s campus in hopes of landing contract work with GE Aviation.

GEA, partnering with the State of Louisiana, is hosting the 2010 GE Aviation Small Business Supplier Symposium, an opportunity for small businesses to connect directly with GEA.

Sourcing Supplier Development for GEA Susan Green said GEA is in great position for growth, and the company is looking to expand that to small businesses across the state.

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“We need the help and capacity and this is just one way for us to find it,” she said. “In the next one to two years we are really going to need the help.”

GEA is one of the leading suppliers of aircraft engines in the world, and needs help from small businesses in many areas, Green said.

GEA will interview a number of small businesses including synthetic rubber manufacturing, paint, coating and adhesive manufacturing, industrial building construction and more.

Vice President for research and development at Louisiana Tech University Les Guice said GEA is working with small businesses in Louisiana to help stimulate new market opportunities across the state.

“We are trying to get various small business interests to mix with large corporations,” he said. “That way they can possibly generate new public and private contract leads for their business.”

Green said GEA will interview businesses who attend the symposium to see if they have the qualifications to work for the company.

“If there is a match, they will have an opportunity to form a study quote,” she said. “This will give them a feel for what it is like to quote our hardware and a chance for them to get their foot in the door.”

Green said even businesses that aren’t qualified are still given the opportunity to work with GEA.

“If they do not match the qualifications that we are looking for, we look to find out what we can do to get them there,” she said.

Green said GEA is looking for small businesses because it will help drive competition.

“Incorporating small businesses into the mix allows for lower pricing and more technology,” she said. “It forces people to invest in their business and become more diversified.”

Green said a lot gets achieved at the small business level.

“They have every incentive to get to that point,” she said. “The drive and passion they have is going to be more prevalent.”

Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District Director Heather Malone said she plans on attending the symposium.

“This is a great opportunity for our area to have,” she said. “They are looking for suppliers, and we are looking for more work.”