CARTERVILLE -- A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel has returned to southern Illinois to lead the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at John A. Logan College.
Mitch Strang, a Marion native who served 28 years in the Missouri Air National Guard, has taken the controls of what is considered a major wing of economic development in southern Illinois.
To date, PTAC has helped to bring over $2 billion in government contracts to small businesses in southern Illinois, money responsible for job creation and business growth.
"My biggest priority at this time is to alert small businesses in southern Illinois that our PTAC exists and that we are here to help bring government contracts to southern Illinois at no expense to the business," Strang said. "The PTAC has done a lot of great things for the southern Illinois economy in the past, and it will continue to do a lot of great things for the southern Illinois economy in the future."
Each year federal government agencies buy more than $500 billion in materials from small businesses. These purchases range from routine office supplies to replacement parts for military aircraft.
"Uncle Sam offers a potentially lucrative, yet largely untapped market for many companies," Strang said. "Knowing how the government acquisition system works and finding out who in government buys your products and services can be extremely challenging, but that's what we do at PTAC. Our numbers are proof of our success."
The Logan College PTAC works with businesses in the 30 southernmost counties of Illinois.
Strang graduated from Marion High School in 1983. He studied at John A. Logan College and then got a bachelor's degree in finance from Southern Illinois University in 1987.
Strang's father had served in the Navy, and after Strang's formal education was over he attended Air Force Officer Training School in San Antonio, TX. He was commissioned a second lieutenant by the Air Force in 1988. Strang's career in the Air Force took him to 14 different countries during which he worked to helped carry out a number of military operations.
After retirement, Strang decided to apply for PTAC director at John A. Logan College.
"My number one goal right now is to re-energize the program and increase the awareness of what PTAC can do for small business owners," Strang said. "This is a very successful program that will continue to soar."