To learning, connecting & meeting new challenges

by Brandy Welvaert

Here at APS, we're always working on something new. Since day one, every day has delivered new demands in the realm of solving our clients’ power challenges and helping them become mission capable.

These days, however, we’ve also been working on something that’s, well, a new kind of different – and we’re finally ready to talk about it.

It started in June 2017, when our local chamber of commerce, the QC Chamber, announced that it was looking for companies to participate in a program called ExporTech, which was being made available through a Department of Defense grant. Lucky for us, APS met all the parameters for the grant, and we were accepted into the program, which usually comes with a several-thousand-dollar price-tag. Win!

We owe thanks to the QC Chamber for drawing us into the ExporTech fold, and to CIRAS at Iowa State University, the folks who facilitated the training and opened so many doors for us. (Special thank-you to Marc Schneider, who brought industry experts together and taught the course in an engaging way.)

ExporTech teaches businesses how to become successful exporters. Classes focus on uncovering resources, mapping a strategy for sustainable growth, and putting together the pieces in a final plan and presentation to a panel of experts and peers. Over the summer, we attended classes, learned a great deal and drew our own unique map for the future alongside our peers.

Maybe we’re letting the proverbial cat out of the bag since we know that some of our competitors are reading this, but there are a lot of “hidden gems” that the state and federal government provide to small businesses. We were certainly surprised by the breadth and depth of information and assistance available from the US Commercial Service, Small Business Administration, Iowa Economic Development Authority and a host of others whom we met through ExporTech.

Another thing we learned: There is financial support available to help us reach our goals. Yep, grant dollars.

While we definitely won’t be sharing our export strategy in this space, we can share that last week we received a grant through the Iowa Economic Development Authority that will help us pursue our export goals in 2018.

So here’s to learning, to connecting, and to new challenges: May each of us be ready to meet them with the power it takes to get the job done.

What's next? Read our client success stories.