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Company shows appreciation of small business partners ahead of National Small Business Week on April 30

By Jennifer Ferreira, Vice President, DHS Business Development.

Building business within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires relationships. That’s why, now more than ever, it’s critical to join forces with innovative small businesses that aim to deliver top-tier programs at DHS. This helps to meet the demand for small businesses skilled in cybersecurity, cloud, DevSecOps, AI/ML, RPA, and other technologies.

In 2022, DHS awarded 18% of all contract dollars to small and disadvantaged businesses, and more than 1,900 of those awards went to businesses entering into contracts with DHS for the first time. Feeding this growth is the right partnerships with other contractors, as Eric Jeanmarie from Finality, LLC notes:

“Technology is a main driver of mission fulfillment at DHS, but equally important is the ability of partners to support operations. With our Maximus partnership, we deliver the overall capability for the department to strengthen national security and ensure continuous improvement.”

With so many new small businesses coming into the fold at DHS, it is critical to utilize our experience and relationships as a large business to build partnerships that bring the best value to the department and its subagencies. For Maximus, these include Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Here at Maximus, we recently hosted a Mentor Day in conjunction with the Government Technology Services Coalition (GTSC). Participants from this group of innovative small businesses learned more about Maximus, our capabilities, our footprint within DHS, and growth plans. They also heard about our approach to building partnerships that are designed to win work and meet the government’s objectives.

John Mandell, our National Security Practice Leader, described how we focus on each bid, tie it to the component’s strategic plan, and assemble the solution with technology and capabilities from small business partners. We talked openly with small businesses about our approach to teaming relationships and which capabilities are vital for many of the bids in our pipeline to include cloud, cybersecurity, and digital modernization.

Attendees took away an understanding of potential criteria needed to join Maximus as a teammate, such as having:

  • The ability to satisfy small business requirements, such as 8(a), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, Woman-Owned Small Business, or HUBZone
  • Particular capabilities and technologies relevant to bids
  • Relationships within DHS and subject matter expertise
  • Potential availability for a formal partnership today or in the future; Maximus is part of both the DHS and the Small Business Administration (SBA) mentor-protégé programs
  • Willingness to contribute to responses for Requests for Information, Requests for Quotation, and Technical Challenges
  • Relevant past performance and strong CPARs (if applicable)

Through teaming arrangements with companies like Maximus, small businesses can expand their footprint and bring forth diverse skill sets that lead to significant innovation and growth. Maximus continues to engage with small businesses, build long-term partnerships, and promote modernization. We stand by our commitment to partner with small businesses and believe that cultivating these relationships will yield the best solutions for DHS, maintain success metrics, and ensure that the overall objective of safeguarding the homeland is accomplished successfully.

As affirmed by Thomas A. Duckenfield III, CEO of Maximus partner TDB Communications, “The best partnerships between small business and large contractors are based on a shared culture and alignment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these relationships. It’s about developing partnerships that benefit both parties while establishing trust between the two companies to better serve federal agencies and their constituents.”

For more information about engaging with Maximus, contact and visit the page Small Business and Strategic Partnership Office. Also, view our LinkedIn page during National Small Business Week from April 30 – May 6 for small business highlights.