The region's largest employer is working to build its future. The Rock Island Arsenal is helping civilian companies to team up with the military. It's a solid partnership during uncertain times.
There's plenty of work inside the Mandus Group in Rock Island on Thursday. That's where workers are busy building hydraulic repair units for the military.
This small business started with just two workers five years ago. There's 60 employees these days. The private contactor works closely with the Arsenal.
"The small businesses tend to be fast-moving, very entrepreneurial, very flexible and able to capitalize on emerging opportunities quickly," said Sam Kupresin, vice president of business development at Mandus Group.
That's why more than 600 participants are seizing the moment. The Midwest Small Business Government Contracting Symposium helps to connect companies with government contracts.
"Show small business what opportunities are available with contracting with the government, especially here at Rock Island Arsenal," said Alan Wilson, AGW Consulting.
These contracts are designed to protect the Arsenal during challenging times. It's a blend of civilian and military work to insure its future.
A future for companies like Vista International Group. With more than a hundred Quad City jobs, it fills a variety of roles.
"We've grown a lot by providing great services, great products to the government," said Craig Roberts, Vista's president.
It also helps companies that depend on Vista. Raven Technology is a start-up firm from Reno.
"What we can provide with our technology is better decision making in more and different places," said Eric Juillerat, Raven's president.
According to the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, more than 500 local businesses in a four-county region are getting work with Department of Defense contracts.
Places like Mandus Group. It's aiming high for the future with local jobs.
"It's really doing a lot for the Arsenal and our community," Kupresin concluded.