Free government contracting classes available for businesses

Southwestern Illinois businesses are being offered free classes teaching the essential tools to be registered and certified to work on government contracts. These classes will be taught weekly on Tuesdays from Sept. 29-Nov. 17 as an online cohort laying the foundation to work with federal, state, and local government. Everyone attending the entire eight-week session will receive a certificate of completion.

“The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois is honored to partner with the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center program in the upcoming GovCon Cohort,” said Dr. Ronda Sauget, executive director and CEO of The Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois. “This effort will help minority, women, veteran-owned businesses and others on their journey to become qualified state and federal contractors.”

“Learning how to work with the government contracting processes can be a very extensive process if you do not have any assistance,” said Theresa Ebeler, center director of the Illinois-PTAC at WIU.  “This is why the Illinois-PTAC at WIU helps businesses identify, compete for, and win government contracts.”

During the cohort, businesses will learn how to do business with the federal and state government, understanding and obtaining diverse certifications, marketing to the government, building a capability statement, proposal types, writing tips, and more. Each session will be divided into three sections, which includes a workshop/instruction, guest speakers, and task/flex time. 

“The GovCon Cohort will provide much-needed guidance and educational advantages to the participants in being well-informed about the contracting activities, engaged in the state and federal contracting process, and empowered to win the contract work and successfully complete the project,” Sauget said. “This effort will help level the playing field for minorities, women, and veteran-owned businesses to participate in state and federal contracting while enabling diversity inclusion.”

The Illinois PTAC at WIU is provided through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Western Illinois University. This partnership allows PTAC to provide firms with programs and resources at no charge. There are eligibility requirements for participation.  Requirements include membership in the Illinois SBDC/PTAC Network (no cost), two or more years in business, verifiable business income, or eight weekly sessions of online learning.

For more information, review the PTAC website at, call (618) 420-8313, or email

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