VIENNA, OH – At the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) today, the offices of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) hosted a seminar to help Mahoning Valley small businesses learn about opportunities to work with the federal government.
“Our nation has the best Air Force in the world, but the men and women in uniform can’t serve alone,” Brown said. “They rely on our industrial power to provide them with the best support and equipment possible. That’s why workshops like this are so important. By connecting small businesses with our acquisition offices at the Defense Department, we both grow our economy and support our nation’s military.”
“As a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee and after returning from the Middle East, I have seen first-hand the complex global threats that our nation faces – and am thankful for the men and women at YARS working to keep our nation safe and secure. I’m happy that we had the chance today to build off YARS’ success and connect the base with our local business community. The public-private partnerships that can be born from these opportunities have the unique ability to bolster both our national security and local economy, and I look forward to continuing to work to foster these relationship,” said Ryan.
More than 100 people representing more than 30 businesses registered to attend the event where officials from the Small Business Administration (SBA) outlined the process, qualifications, and opportunities to become a federal contractor.
Brown and Ryan are strong supporters of YARS and the Ohio Air National Guard. In December 2015, Brown and Ryan, along with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), U.S. Reps. Johnson and Joyce, sent a letter to Lt. Gen. Jackson, United States Air Force urging the replacement of the 910th Airlift Wing’s C-130 H aircraft. They want the planes upgraded to a C-130 J aircraft so the base can continue its specialized aerial spray missions.
In November 2015, Brown and Ryan helped secure $9.4 million for YARS to help improve the indoor firing range facility. The range is used to train and test airmen for qualifications with their service weapons for personal protection and ground base defense. The current range is 30 years old and fails to meet current safety requirements. This funding will correct this serious deficiency and improve the training that occurs at YARS.