The designation under the 8(a) Small Business Development program opens many new doors for JFA, said owner Julie Foster.
The 8(a) program was created to help underrepresented small business owners break into government contracting and give them assistance and resources. It involves a rigorous application process and usually takes two years to qualify. Foster managed to gain certification in a year and a half because she had more than 25 years in the construction, energy, and engineering industries, where she worked in contract, project, and program management. She also has a strong business development background. She opened JFoster & Associates, LLC in March of 2015.
Foster has also been highly involved in civic organizations and committees that benefit her community, and was recently named to the State of Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance Communication and Outreach Task Force.
She was raised in Pocatello, and has lived in Idaho Falls for the past 15 years. She is a graduate of Idaho State University, and her sons are attending College of Idaho and Boise State University.
“I love Idaho and want to continue to serve and give back to my community wherever I can. I want to help secure a better future for our kids and the next generations.”
The 8(a) program works in two phases over nine years and offers specialized business training, counseling, and marketing assistance and the opportunity to receive sole-source contracts. Additionally, the Woman-Owned Small Business federal contract program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible small businesses owned by women.
“These are amazing programs, and we are honored to be a part of them,” Foster said. Foster is excited about the certification and the doors and opportunities it allows for her business. Her focus has been on local business, including the Idaho National Laboratory and the Idaho Cleanup Project, but the program will enable her to launch into larger prime contracts for the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.