Montana State University

Montana State University offers new support to companies seeking government contracting

June 16, 2015 -- MSU News Service

Jeff Cuskey, a retired U.S. Navy commander and leading expert in government contracting, has been selected to serve as director of the newly created Bozeman Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). The Bozeman PTAC will be based at TechLink and is funded through a cost-sharing cooperative agreement between the Defense Logistics Agency and MSU.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Montana companies interested in doing business with federal, state and local government agencies will have a new resource for consulting, training and support through Montana State University beginning July 7.

The university has hired Jeff Cuskey, a retired U.S. Navy commander and leading expert in government contracting, to serve as director of the newly created Bozeman Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Cuskey will be moving to Bozeman from California, where he is the senior procurement specialist with the Monterey Bay PTAC. He has more than 25 years of experience in federal and defense acquisition, contracting, program management and business financial management. During his 20 years of active duty service with the U.S. Navy, Cuskey served as a contract specialist at the Defense Contract Management Agency, and as procuring contracting officer and business financial manager for two of the Navy’s largest fighter aircraft programs.

After retiring from the Navy, Cuskey became a full-time faculty member at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he taught graduate-level courses in defense-focused acquisition, contracting and program management. He has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Delaware and a master’s in acquisition and contract management from the Naval Postgraduate School.

“We are extremely pleased that Jeff has accepted this position,” said Will Swearingen, executive director of TechLink, which will host the new center. “We set the bar pretty high, but we struck gold with Jeff. When it comes to government contracting, you’re not likely to find a more experienced, knowledgeable or credentialed person than Commander Cuskey.”

The Bozeman PTAC is one of nine PTACs located across the state of Montana. The lead agency is the Billings PTAC, hosted by Big Sky Economic Development. The Bozeman PTAC serves five counties, including Broadwater, Gallatin, Lewis and Clark, Madison and Park.

The training and assistance provided by PTACs is usually free of charge and includes helping businesses with required registrations, identification of contract opportunities, help in understanding requirements and in preparing and submitting bids.

“MSU is a partner in the state’s economy. Southwest Montana has many companies that could do valuable work for the government in research, development, analysis and many other areas. We are proud to provide this kind of assistance,” said Renee Reijo Pera, MSU vice president for research and economic development. “We look forward to Jeff joining us to lead this effort.”

The Bozeman PTAC will be based at TechLink and is funded through a cost-sharing cooperative agreement between the Defense Logistics Agency and MSU.

Part of MSU, TechLink is funded by the Department of Defense to establish licensing and other technology transfer agreements with US industry. These agreements transfer DOD inventions to industry, enable companies to create new products and services, and stimulate economic development. TechLink has worked with most DOD labs and centers nationwide, facilitating more than 1,000 technology transfer partnerships, including more than 425 license agreements. TechLink-facilitated agreements since 2000 have generated approximately $1.5 billion in sales (per a study in 2015) and $4 billion in economic impact.

TechLink is one of several MSU offices that serve to strengthen Montana’s economy. MSU’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center provides technical support to the state’s manufacturing base, the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station provides valuable research to the state’s farmers and ranchers, MSU’s Technology Transfer Office works with Montana companies to commercialize university research discoveries, and MSU’s Optical Technology Center, OpTeC, has played a role in the creation of dozens of laser and optics companies in the state. 

For more information on the Montana PTAC, go to http://www.montanaptac.org/.

Contact: Chandra Morris, communications director, TechLink, (406) 994-7702 or cmorris@montana.edu