PCI enterprise signs protege agreement
By By Adam Prestridge
Thursday was the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' lucky day.
More than 100 people including a large number of the 777 "lucky" employees working for the Tribe joined Muskogee Metalworks general manager Mal McGhee as he announced that the Poarch Creek economic enterprise was teaming up with The Boeing Company in a Mentor-Prot/g/ agreement.
"We're so lucky to be a partner with Boeing," McGhee said as he fought back tears during the press conference at Muskogee Metalworks. "I feel we've made our first delivery already."
Following the hour long press conference, which included an invocation by Tribal historic preservation officer Robert Thrower in ancient Creek Indian language, the playing of the Medicine Tail Drums and several speakers, McGhee and Chuck Allen, vice president of business operations for Boeing Huntsville, signed the agreement, which will provide quality assurance, lean training and marketing and business development assistance for Muskogee Metalworks.
"We are proud to be associated with Muskogee Metalworks and with the Mentor-Prot/g/ agreement, the latest in a series that Boeing has established with small companies to benefit from the diverse capabilities of companies located throughout Alabama," Allen said. "Mentor-Prot/g/ agreements are a priority for Boeing because they promote the growth of suppliers and ultimately strengthen the business base."
McGhee, who has been with Muskogee Metalworks for 14 years, said Thursday's announcement was a long time coming.
"Someone told me that you have to be persistent when I started," he said. "Things don't happen overnight, but we're going to make this happen. Thank you Chuck for you confidence in us."
Allen said he and the other Boeing representatives at the announcement were flattered by the warm welcome extended to them.
"I want to thank you all for hosting this and making us feel at home," he said. "Alabama is a great state to live in. This is a great day for Boeing in Alabama."
According to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the agreement with Boeing and Muskogee Metalworks will help the company become a more cost effective and viable subcontractor to The Boeing Company and other customers.
"We strive to be a good neighbor in the state," Tribal Chairman Buford L. Rolin said. "That's what we are all about. Employment is one of the most powerful means of building a stronger future for our communities. We're looking forward to working with Boeing."
Creek Indian Enterprises president Tim Martin said he believes the Mentor-Prot/g/ agreement is not only good for the Tribe, but for south Alabama as a whole.
"This partnership with Boeing is an important investment in economic development for South Alabama," he said. "We are pleased to have an opportunity to develop our enterprise and make it more competitive for future contracts with Boeing and other industries. These contracts ultimately result in employment for local residents and make our region more attractive to industries considering relocating to this area."
The Mentor-Prot/g/ agreement is a direct result of a huge industrial conference hosted by the City of Thomasville in August, which McGhee and Allen both attended. Atmore mayor Howard Shell said the City of Atmore is delighted to be the host city for such a huge project.
"We've been doing work at our airport and when I learned of this, I immediately contacted our Airport Committee and told them to extend the runway another mile because Boeing is coming," Shell said. "We're proud of this relationship with the Poarch Creek Indians and to be the host city. I would like to congratulate all of the Tribal Council that had the insight to attend the conference in Thomasville."
Rolin believes the Poarch Creek Indians, the City of Atmore and the State of Alabama have a lot to look forward to in the future following Thursday's agreement.
"It's a great day for the Poarch Creek Indians, a great day for this community and a great day in Alabama," he said.
The Mentor Prot/g/ Program
Since 1991, the Department of Defense Mentor-Prot/g/ Program has offered substantial assistance to small disadvantaged businesses. Having helped them to expand the overall base of their marketplace participation has produced more jobs and increased national income. In 2005, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses and Certified HUBZone Businesses were included in the program.
The Department of Defense Mentor-Prot/g/ Program assists small businesses (Prot/g/s) to successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (Mentors) under individual, project-based agreements.
Many Mentor firms have made the program an integral part of their sourcing plans; while the Prot/g/ firms have used their involvement in the program to develop much-needed business and technical capabilities to diversify their customer base.
Successful Mentor-Prot/g/ Agreements provide a winning relationship for the Prot/g/, the Mentor and the Department of Defense.
Boeing is the largest aerospace company in Alabama. Today, the workforce of more than 3,000 employees work on the leading edge of key space and defense programs, including the International Space Station, Ground-based Midcourse Defense, Avenger and the PAC-3 missile.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.
About Muskogee Metalworks
Muskogee Metalworks is a tribally owned enterprise. Its 90,000-square foot facility provides machine parts to military and private enterprise and participates in the U.S. Air Force Manufacturing Technical Assistance Production Program. In operation since 1989, Muskogee Metalworks' primary business is the design and manufacture of metal fabricated hardware. In 2001, the product line was expanded to include electronic assemblies and electro-mechanical production. In 2005, Muskogee Metalworks received the Nunn-Perry Award, the highest honor awarded to a contractor by the Department of Defense.