Beginning with our owner and leadership, included in our core values, throughout our messaging and sales motion, and onward to support client confidence, diversity plays a key role throughout AOM.
Founded by a Service-Disabled Veteran, we pride ourselves on developing solid relationships with other Veteran Owned Businesses. These relationships continually focus on strengthening the Veteran community, both in business and outside the business. Giving back to this community and drawing attention to the plight Veterans undergo when returning to the civilian world is of utmost importance.
Additionally, we ensure that businesses experiencing similar struggles related to race, gender, and/or sexuality are never excluded. Rather, we support these businesses when and where we can do so.
On occasion, supporting the minority community also means putting our values on display to defend minority businesses. A recent instance of this is our initiative to protect the integrity of minority programs that are easily taken advantage of by bad actors such as Pass-Through entities.
Pass-through – An entity that does not add value greater than the Diversity benefit they offer. They offer no “commercially useful function” to the transaction. If removed from the transaction, their absence would not be noticed other than their Diversity status.
In combating Pass-throughs, AOM is pushing an initiative forward that would allow small businesses like AOM to better participate at all market levels. This initiative focuses on a multi-faceted approach to dismantle current Pass-through entities and create a Diversity OEM for diversity manufacturers like AOM.
SBA 8(a): Certified
The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small, disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The SBA 8(a) certifications allows ZPI to compete and receive set-aside and sole-source contracts from many US government agencies.
Founded in 1972, the National Minority Supplier Development Council Inc. (NMSDC®) is the longest-operating business growth engine for the broadest group of systematically excluded communities of color (Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American), and our impact goes far beyond supply chain. The largest U.S. corporations purchase more than $100 billion in products, services and solutions supplied by MBEs. Partner with ZPI helps businesses retire either Tier I or Tier II spend towards their minority business goals.
National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC) was established in 2013 to address the growing need to identify and certify both service disabled and veteran owned businesses (SD/VOBs) in the government and commercial (corporate) marketplace. The NVBDC administers a rigorous certification process designed to withstand the scrutiny of governmental and corporate entities seeking to utilize certified SD/VOBs. The NVBDC certificate gives corporate entities and members of the Billion Dollar Round Table access to veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. NVBDC’s yearly renewal ensures that businesses who claim to be a VOSB or an SDVOSB continue to be owned and operated by a veteran, allowing businesses to retire Tier I and Tier II spend without worrying if the business they are working for might be fraudulent.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and was signed into law in 2004. The distinction, as defined by the Department of Defense, is that it identifies SDVOSBs as unconditionally owned (at least 51%) and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans. The owner must hold the highest officer position in the company and the business must also satisfy the Small Business Association’s (SBA) size standards. The Department of Defense believes that the sacrifices made by veterans in the service of our country need to be recognized at all levels of government. The goal of the program is to award at least 3% of all federal contracting to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses every year. The Department of Veterans Affairs Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program allows eligible businesses to compete for set-aside contracts. It also allows federal entities to retire Tier I spend toward the federal government’s three percent goal.
NaVOBA is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and two-thirds of NaVOBA’s Board of Directors seats are held by corporations to ensure its alignment with the needs of corporate supplier diversity programs. NaVOBA’s VBE/SDVBE certifications directly mirror those of the MBE and WBE certifications and ensures that any certified VBE/SDVBE is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more U.S. military veterans.
NaVOBA has trademarked the “Certified Veteran’s Business Enterprise™” and “Certified Service-Disabled Veteran’s Business Enterprise™” designations wordmarks and seals, making NaVOBA the exclusive organization certifying VBEs/SDVBEs for the private sector.
NaVOBA's process collects the applicant's military service record information directly from the U.S. Federal Government on the veteran's behalf immediately upon initializing the application to eliminate the possibility of fraudulent submissions (e.g. the OPPOSITE of self-certification) while simultaneously accelerating the process.
Like other certifications, site-visits will be conducted in 100 percent of cases however, VBE/SDVBE certifications are good for two (2) years. NaVOBA employs a dedicated team of full-time documentation analysts, dramatically increasing efficiency and reducing processing time relative to existing programs. Finally, and most importantly to the veteran-owned firms, the cost is substantially less than any other private sector veteran-owned business certification.
In April of 2019, NaVOBA joined the National Business Inclusion Consortium joining our partners at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Disability:IN, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), US Black Chamber of Commerce (USBCCC), US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAAC, WEConnect International, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).