LLNL and Sandia connect with suppliers at LLNL’s Industry Day

Industry Day reps (Download Image)

From left to right, team members Maranda Wing, Christina Garcia, Bri Straub, Lucas Tran and Donald Harrison (not pictured) worked behind the scenes to make Industry Day a success. Photos by Lisa Belk/LLNL.

Hopeful energy filled the Bldg. 123 auditorium on April 20 as participants seeking to do business with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) or Sandia National Laboratories participated in Industry Day, an opportunity for contractors to learn about business opportunities and network with one another.

More than 100 participants from 45 companies attended in-person, and nearly 100 more from an additional 35 companies joined the hybrid event online.

Industry Day was cohosted by LLNL’s Office of Laboratory Infrastructure (OLI), Weapons Infrastructure (WI), the Business Directorate (BD) and Project Management Office (PMO). Members of LLNL, Sandia/California and representatives of the NNSA Livermore Field Office (LFO) and Partnership Acquisition Services (PAS) also were in attendance. Speakers highlighted how LLNL’s mission drives its infrastructure, provided tips for winning and executing contracts and outlined recent and upcoming projects, among other topics.

Lisa Belk, LLNL associate director for Business, provided a Lab overview and was thrilled with the turnout and content presented to the broad audience.

“The Lab really shined at Industry Day. Current and potential vendors looking to do business at LLNL and Sandia/California were enthusiastic and gained insight about our focus on safety, how to prequalify to do business with us and where to find information about every request for proposal (RFP) as it becomes available,” Belk said. Demolition, construction and large infrastructure projects supporting the Strategic Deterrent Mission and other LLNL and Sandia/California focus areas were highlighted by LLNL speakers Barb Quivey, Katy Lu, Sal Beltran, Mark Costella, Cher Loder and Sandia speaker Rachael Gutierrez-Stabler.

Lu, Weapons Infrastructure deputy program leader, set the stage with some of the noteworthy developments that make working at LLNL so exciting, including LLNL's recent fusion achievement. Firing a 2.05 megajoule (MJ) laser shot into a diamond capsule, the experiment produced more than 3 MJ of fusion energy, a scientific breakthrough that made headlines and is likely to change the world.

“As a result of this, now there is a lot more attention in this area,” Lu said.

Shifting to supercomputers, she noted that both LLNL’s current supercomputer, Sierra, and the upcoming El Capitan, require extensive cooling and power. She underscored that computing is an area of competition with other countries and that infrastructure is a key element in putting new systems in place.

Industry Day participants
More than 100 participants from various companies seeking to do business with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or Sandia National Laboratories participated in-person at the Lab’s Industry Day.

Construction of new office space is another area requiring assistance from external contractors. With PMO managing construction, general and sub-tier contractors are needed to build office space that can help LLNL compete with nearby tech companies for workers.

With more than half of employees holding less than five years of tenure, the Lab is increasingly looking to attract a younger technical workforce that expects more modern surroundings.

“You want your offices to reflect the type of work you’re doing,” Lu said, adding, “In the last 10 years, this place has been transformed.”

Beltran, deputy principal associate director for projects, gave an overview of PMO projects in the upcoming year, emphasizing the importance of contractors to accomplishing the Lab’s construction goals. Rather than looking for “one-and-done” style procurements, the Lab is looking for long-term partnerships with contractors, he said.

“It’s an exciting time to be here at the Laboratory,” he said. “The Laboratory infrastructure work scope is growing. For us to be successful, we need partners to help us deliver that mission.”

Beltran also stressed the importance of safety to the Lab’s mission and goals.

“When your workers are on this site, their safety matters the same as if they were one of our employees,” he said. “It starts with our commitment to collaborate, drive and embrace the safety culture.”

Quivey, OLI deputy program director for Facilities & Infrastructure, gave an overview of project portfolios and planning to explain how plans for construction play into the larger site development plan. Plans include the addition of more than 1,600 new offices, updates in energy infrastructure and redevelopment of facilities at the National Ignition Facility and Livermore Computing.

“These facilities are undergoing improvements that will improve their performance over the next 20 years,” Quivey said of the modernization of LLNL’s science and technology facilities.

But with limited space available at Site 200, as new buildings go up, others need to come down.

Celebrating his 42nd anniversary of employment on Industry Day, Transition and Disposition Program Manager Costella noted that LLNL is demolishing a range of structures to make room for new office space and state-of-the-art technical facilities. From buildings that have been contaminated due to scientific research to trailers that were put up quickly and need to be replaced by permanent structures, Costella outlined recent, current and upcoming projects in the area of demolition.

“We are in a renaissance here at the Lab — a retooling of our capabilities,” Costella said.

Loder, supply chain manager for all design and construction projects, gave an overview of the procurement process and some tips for successful proposals. She recommended reviewing requests for proposals (RFPs) thoroughly before submission and making sure that all requested documents, such as a portfolio, are attached. She also strongly recommended visiting LLNL’s online supplier resources and attending site visits with trade partners to meet the project team.

Loder explained the requirements for being vetted by LLNL and added to a list of vendors, including licenses, insurance certificates, OSHA logs, financial data for the last two years, bonding capacity and a successful safety record.

Loder and Supply Chain Department Manager Charles Duff gave an overview of LLNL’s work with small businesses and called for larger businesses to bring them in.

“If you look at what this nation’s built, it’s built on small businesses,” Duff said. “I would ask our large businesses to actively reach out to small businesses and partner with them. We look to you to help us and help you to diversity our supplier base.”

Gutierrez-Stabler, Sandia/California site strategic planner, gave an overview of Sandia’s planning and contracting needs. She also encouraged participants to register as prospective suppliers and subscribe to Sandia’s Business Opportunity Website.

“I was very encouraged to see the number of participants and engagement today. Both labs have a lot of upcoming infrastructure projects,” Gutierrez-Stabler said. “We will need great industry partners to execute efficiently and at a rapid pace.”

Kimberly Moore