Cerritos CACT Honored by Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program

Cerritos College's Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) received the prestigious Air Force Nunn-Perry Award in recognition of its role in helping Boeing develop a small, minority-owned business during its annual conference Wednesday, March 12.

Nunn-Perry Award was established in 1995 to recognize and highlight outstanding and successful mentor-protégé relationships which assist small disadvantaged businesses grow their businesses.

“Your hard work, dedication, and superior achievements have made this another successful year for the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program,” commented Paul Simpkins, program manager for the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program, on the CACT/Boeing alliance.

The partnership between The Boeing Company and the Cerritos College CACT was formed in response to the lack of small, minority-owned aerospace suppliers.

It is through this alliance between the Cerritos College CACT and Boeing, that the protégé KAP Manufacturing was able to create high wage jobs as well as provide paid internships and job placement for college students. In addition to increasing its capacities it also expanded its business which resulted in a 60 percent hike in its annual revenue, hired seven new employees and moved to a larger facility to accommodate the $2.88 million increase in new orders.

The CACT’s role in the partnership consisted of workforce training, assisting in the adoption of advance manufacturing technologies and technical assistance. Some of the training included continuous process improvement, quality systems and advanced manufacturing software such as Master CAM and PC DMIS. In addition, KAP Manufacturing was introduced to team building, project management and enterprise resource planning.

Since its inception, the Cerritos College CACT has received many awards, with the 2008 Nunn-Perry honor being the latest.

“It is achievements like this that show how important CACT programs are in the diverse communities that they serve,” said Jose Anaya, CACT Director at Cerritos College. “The success of the Cerritos College CACT/Boeing coalition has proven that partnerships between community colleges, local businesses and industry leaders can help stimulate the economy as well as bring young people into technology and manufacturing careers.” 

Department of Defense 2008 Nunn-Perry award