Today for “Staff Spotlight” we’re sitting down with Delphine Abraham, PTAC Coordinator in our Business Development Center, to understand what PTAC is and how it helps Schoolcraft College, our community and Southeast Michigan.
Schoolcraft College: Hello, Delphine! To start out, could you please tell us what PTAC stands for and what you and your office do?
Delphine Abraham: PTAC stands for Procurement Technical Assistance Center. We have a team of five. The PTAC provides Government Contracting assistance to business firms in marketing products and services to federal, state and local governments. As a regional center, the Schoolcraft College PTAC serves companies located in Oakland, Wayne, Monroe, Washtenaw and Livingston counties.
SC: Obviously the pandemic has hit businesses hard. Can you describe operations for your team during a “normal” year?
Delphine Abraham: Prior to the pandemic we were visible at the college and in the community. We assisted clients in-person, by email, on the phone, and at a variety of networking events. We like to establish a positive rapport with our clients so they feel comfortable contacting us at any time with government contracting questions. We also collaborate with other government agencies for speaking engagements and teaching classes. In 2019, I attended 17 outside events where I was either networking, presenting our Government Contracting 101 class or explaining the services we offer. The networking events usually generate new clients. Our goal is to assist as many businesses as possible. When our clients win contracts, it’s not only rewarding to them but to the PTAC team as well.
SC: How are you handling operations now? What’s the procedure?
Delphine Abraham: Since the start of the pandemic, we have been bombarded with client calls and emails. Many business owners were at a loss and turned to Schoolcraft College PTAC for help. The team worked hard and long assisting more clients than usual. Together, we were able to identify resources that could help our clients.
We referred clients to our in-house Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Small Business Administration (SBA) and the State of Michigan for information about funding resources. Instead of working with clients in-person, we are offering our business counseling sessions and Government Contracting 101 classes on Zoom.
We also offer an event called Coffee and Contracting where our clients have the opportunity to participate via Zoom and ask any questions pertaining to selling their products or services to the federal, state, and local government. It’s also a time to network and share their business information with other participants. We provide a relaxing, and fun, environment where clients can talk from the heart while enjoying their coffee.
SC: Would you mind sharing with us a particular success story with PTAC?
Delphine Abraham: Here’s a success story from the client’s own words:
“Just one consultation with Ms. Delphine Abraham proved valuable. I attended a one-on-one session with her through the PTAC service and she offered great insight and resources for navigating through all the information on the internet. This consultation opened my eyes and allowed me to streamline my approach to securing business.
“Prior to meeting with Ms. Abraham, I was focused solely on federal contracts. Ms. Abraham suggested that I also consider local government and municipalities. With the simplified version of the new information, we took aggressive steps toward connecting with those individuals and organizations who needed our products and services.
“When COVID-19 came and our business rapidly saw a decline in sales, we did not give up and decided to address the need in the marketplace for PPE and were afforded the opportunity to address that need through our business relationships. Within two months we amassed a fluid supply chain and are now looking to help all those in need.
“Just recently, we won a $47,500 purchase order contract with the City of Detroit to supply them with 500 automatic hand sanitizer stands. We also won another P.O. Contract for $93,000 for a purchase of 300,000 face masks.
“We are thankful that we were able to withstand the blow of the current economic downturn and will continue to press forward. Now we can add a new NAIC’s Code to our current capabilities statement: 624230 (Emergency & Other Relief Services).
“Thanks to Delphine A.K.A Sunshine and the PTAC team for all that you do!”
Jesstin Williams, Founder & CEO, Xcel Now Solutions
SC: You’ve served Schoolcraft College for five years. Please tell us a little about your background and your career.
Delphine Abraham: I attended Washtenaw Community College where I graduated with a Liberal Arts Associates Degree. I transferred to Spring Arbor University where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management. During my career, I’ve always felt that my calling was to be an advisor. Every position that I’ve had was focused on advising others.
While employed at Michigan Works for 12 years, I worked with single parents. My job title was Job Education and Training (JET) Program Case Manager. I assisted participants in obtaining employment, advising, as well as preparing them to enter the workforce. I was also employed at the College of Michigan Aviation Technology (MIAT), as the only Student Service Advisor. I really enjoyed this position. Students came to me with problems, issues and concerns. I was there to listen and to advise.
I heard so many heartfelt stories from students, and it made me feel good when I could assist them. Also, during my time there, I created a food share program to assist disadvantaged students in need. It was an awesome and well-supported program.
These positions prepared me well to serve the Schoolcraft College PTAC in the role of procurement coordinator. It’s a meaningful and rewarding career.
SC: What is one thing you want people to know about PTAC?
Delphine Abraham: That we are here and available to assist business owners. We want them to know when they succeed, we succeed. We have an awesome team; everyone is very professional and we work very well together. When we’re sitting in a counseling session, we’re not only counseling, but we’re building lasting relationships. We often receive rave reviews for our outstanding services. This makes me feel proud to be a part of such a great team.
SC: Thank you, Delphine. If people have questions or need further information, what resources are available?
Delphine Abraham: They can simply email me directly at, Dabraham@schoolcraft.edu or visit our website https://schoolcraft.edu/bdc/about/ptac.