Tank plant to narrow down bidders for assessment

First Posted: 1/6/2015

LIMA — Officials have four “potential bidders” to use a $250,000 grant from the Pentagon intended as part of an assessment of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.

Denny Glenn, JSMC retiree, told the Allen County commissioners Tuesday there are four bidders for the Office of Economic Adjustment grant JSMC received.

“That means we can have a good competitive bid,” he said.

The four bidders include Allen Economic Development Group in Lima, Axcel Innovation from Charlottesville, Virginia, Future iQ Partners from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Thomas P. Miller and Associates from Indianapolis. The bids were opened Dec. 2, Glenn said.

Glenn said JSMC is carefully looking at the cost and technical evaluation of each bidder and taking that information into consideration in awarding their bid.

The awardee of the bid will provide an action plan to JSMC at the end of May with the ultimate goal of “workforce retention” in JSMC.

Glenn presented the system JSMC used to go through the Request for Proposal and “down select” suppliers to the commissioners.

Glenn said the awardee will map out the region and workforce — taking into consideration the skill sets to build the products that JSMC builds. The awardee will then “identify any gaps” JSMC may have.

The awardee will do some “scenario planning for the future, what’s going to happen to JSMC with the best information that we can and go forward and say, ‘OK, having that knowledge, those plans, how can we best address any issues with the workforce?’” Glenn said.

The goal is to have the workforce ready “for when the Army says, ‘We’re ready to build the next generation of Abrams’” tanks, Glenn said.

Glenn said in the case of a “downturn” at JSMC, “there is something that they can do to keep their skills retained.” In an upturn, Glenn said the employees will be able to “jump right into the job with minimal skill training.”

The awardee will work with both General Dynamics and the Army during their assessments.

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