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CHIPS Articles: NSWC Crane Deputy for Small Business connects innovators with Navy technology needs

NSWC Crane Deputy for Small Business connects innovators with Navy technology needs
Two-thirds of all new jobs in the U.S. come from small businesses
By Sarah K. Miller, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications - April 15, 2020
CRANE, Ind. – When Matt Burkett, the Deputy for Small Business at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), graduated from college Missouri, he wanted to come back home to Indiana.

“I was extremely fortunate,” says Burkett. “I applied to jobs and was accepted into a position supporting Crane’s Contracting Department. I went from not knowing much about contracting to learning a lot from leaders, mentors, managers, and the team. I was willing to put in the work, and was given opportunities to succeed.”

Burkett worked in the Contracting Department for 12 years when the position of Deputy for Small Business became available.

“This role provided me the best of both worlds,” says Burkett. “I was able to apply my years of contracting knowledge to help people and work with contracting and technical personal to help shape contract strategies. It is gratifying to be able to engage with people, hear their stories, and provide them the information they need to be successful or connect them with the people who can help.”

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https://www.milsuite.mil/video/watch/video/29832

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As the Deputy for Small Business, Burkett is an advocate for small businesses at NSWC Crane. He also works with Small Businesses so they can better understand how the government works.

“Two-thirds of all new jobs in the country are in small businesses. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and other non-traditional entities are often on the cusp of innovation and the latest technology. That is a lot of possibility. It’s in our best interest, and the warfighter’s best interest, to work with diverse businesses innovating across technology areas. Effectively working with them increases our technical capability and provides the warfighter with the best tools.”

Burkett says that as the pace of technology has increased, NSWC Crane has needed to adapt.

“Simply putting information out there and expecting small businesses to just ‘see it’ isn’t efficient,” says Burkett. “We make relevant resources easy to access with several important links on our website to gather initial information. I also engage with the business community at events such as the Buy Indiana Expo, Crane Road Shows, SBA information sessions, do interviews on podcasts, and speak at local chambers of commerce. I also meet with non-traditional companies at Purdue@WestGate’s First Tuesday events and Defense Entrepreneurs Forum Drink & Think discussions. I meet with individuals one-on-one and answer questions about what we do at Crane and how to get involved with our mission.”

Burkett says working at Crane has been rewarding.

“I love my job. I have worked with some of the best people who have given me opportunities to learn. The passion that people have here at Crane for the mission isn’t something they take lightly. I’m fortunate to be part of a team like this.”

For small businesses impacted by COVID-19, read more from the Small Business Administration:

- Paycheck Protection Plan – www.sba.gov/PaycheckProtection

- SBA Disaster Loans – www.sba.gov/coronavirus

When Matt Burkett, the Deputy for Small Business at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), graduated from college Missouri, he wanted to come back home to Indiana. “I was extremely fortunate,” says Burkett. “I applied to jobs and was accepted into a position supporting Crane’s Contracting Department. I went from not knowing much about contracting to learning a lot from leaders, mentors, managers, and the team. I was willing to put in the work, and was given opportunities to succeed.” (Photo by NSWC Crane Corporate Communications)
When Matt Burkett, the Deputy for Small Business at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), graduated from college Missouri, he wanted to come back home to Indiana. “I was extremely fortunate,” says Burkett. “I applied to jobs and was accepted into a position supporting Crane’s Contracting Department. I went from not knowing much about contracting to learning a lot from leaders, mentors, managers, and the team. I was willing to put in the work, and was given opportunities to succeed.” (Photo by NSWC Crane Corporate Communications)
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