Prestigious graduation

Published 2:56 pm Monday, August 31, 2009

By By Chandler Myers
Nine years ago, Muskogee Metalworks began working to improve business by taking part in a business development program sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Wednesday, that work paid off as the company was selected as Alabama’s 2009 Graduate of the Year in the SBA’s 8(a) business program.
The 8(a) program is a competitive advantage status awarded to small developing businesses. Certain government contracts are set aside for 8(a) certified companies.
To celebrate the occasion, Muskogee held a presentation Wednesday for employees and officials from Creek Indian Enterprises.
Muskogee Metalworks General Manager Mal McGhee said he is pleased with how far the company has come in the last several years.
According to its Web site, Muskogee Metalworks began operations 18 years ago, with its main function to design and manufacture metal fabricated hardware. The company expanded its operation in 2001 to include electric assemblies and electro-mechanical production. In 2002, the company moved to its current location, which is a 90,000 square foot facility.
With this new environment and with the help of the 8(a) development program, Muskogee was able to move in a new direction for business opportunities.
Muskogee hopes to employ more workers in the future, McGhee said. The company’s contract partners are also committed to growing with the company, he said.
In presenting the award to McGhee and the employees at Muskogee, officials with the SBA recognized how they all worked together to be successful in the 8(a) program.
Tom Todt, Alabama’s director for the SBA, said the employees at Muskogee are a large part for the achievements the business has reached.
The award was not only big for the employees of Muskogee Metalworks, but for everyone who involved with Creek Indian Enterprises.
Creek Indian Enterprises President Tim Martin said this award is an honor equivalent to graduating from high school.
Muskogee Metalworks is certified by the U.S. SBA as an 8(a) BD Contracting Program, a HUB Zone Small Business and a Small Disadvantaged Business. The company has received numerous awards including the 2005 Department of Defense Nunn-Perry Award, 2007 MBEC/MBDA National Minority Manufacturer of the Year and the 2008 NCAIED American Indian Tribal Enterprise of the Year.

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