Source: EM Update | Vol. 11, Issue 32; Contributor: Ben Williams | August 20, 2019

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Ike White, head of EM, speaks during his address at the UCOR Small Business Awards Breakfast at Oak Ridge Aug. 14.

Ike White recognized award-winning small businesses helping complete projects on schedule and advance the cleanup mission during his first visit to Oak Ridge in his role as head of EM.

His visit began at the seventh annual Small Business Awards Breakfast — a program hosted by DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) cleanup contractor UCOR designed to showcase the contributions of the company’s small business subcontractors.

UCOR honored the following companies with awards:

  • Small Business of the Year: Linear Path of Knoxville, Tennessee and PacTec of Clinton, Louisiana;
  • Small Disadvantaged Business of the Year: Oak Ridge Automotive and Industrial Supply of Oak Ridge, Tennessee;
  • HUBZone Small Business of the Year: Premier Contracting and Technical Services of Oak Ridge, Tennessee;
  • Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Customer Service Electric Supply of Knoxville, Tennessee;
  • Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Southeast Equipment Sales of Oak Ridge, Tennessee;
  • Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: LB Services of Oliver Springs, Tennessee.

The winning companies were selected based on their performance contributing to cleanup accomplishments. Criteria included developing creative, unique solutions, exhibiting extraordinary customer service, improving productivity and efficiency, and devising innovative ideas that lead to cost, time, and resource savings.

The recipients provide services ranging from automating data processes to manufacturing packaging for waste shipments and repairing large demolition machinery. Each played a crucial role in helping EM and UCOR stay on track to achieve Vision 2020 — the goal to be the first site in the world to successfully complete cleanup of a former enrichment complex next year.

During the event, White highlighted how small businesses help bring this ambitious goal within reach, and he pointed to their role in cleanup work in the decades ahead.

“Small businesses have been instrumental in getting us to the finish line with Vision 2020,” White said. “And, EM will continue to depend on their services as we transition and begin major cleanup at the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This important work will pave the way for advances and growth in DOE’s scientific research and national defense missions.”

DOE and its contractor partners obligated approximately $385 million in Oak Ridge to small businesses in fiscal year 2018.

“Every partner and every role matters for us to successfully achieve EM’s challenging and complex mission,” White said. “Our mission is too big to complete alone, and I’m glad to know we have partners that do everything in their power to provide excellent service and find solutions to ensure our projects remain on schedule through tough conditions and tight deadlines.”

After the awards event, White met local federal and contractor leadership guiding Oak Ridge’s cleanup, and he toured projects across the site.