More than 600 manufacturing companies were at the 10th annual Midwest Small Business Symposium at the iWireless Center, Wednesday, May 24.
The first day of the two-day event was all about finding out the current and future needs are. For the Rock Island Arsenal that means finding contractors for maintenance work and other manufacturing projects.
Major General Edward Daly of the Rock Island Arsenal says symposiums like this one are important because the Arsenal still plays a major role in the Army's future.
"I will tell you that this 960-acre island, the Rock Island Arsenal, is absolutely critical to supporting the total force, the war fighter world wide in 30 different countries and in all 50 states," says Daly, which is why he says he's confident the arsenal could survive a round of military closures.
President Trump's budget proposal calls for a round of military base closures in 2021, saving the Department of Defense.
The two day symposium helps the Arsenal make connections to bring in jobs for projects like the 71 housing units being built on the Island as well as other projects to supply troops in the United States and overseas.
Many of the small businesses will be able to pitch new ideas to grow business on the Rock Island Arsenal, Thursday, May 25.