May 25, 2017

CARTERVILLE — A retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. has landed back in Southern Illinois to lead the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) 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.”

Strang noted that each year federal government agencies purchase more than $500 billion from small businesses. These purchases range from routine office supplies to replacement parts for military aircraft, he explained.

“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. And our numbers are proof of our success.”

Strang’s PTAC works with businesses in the 30 southernmost counties of Illinois.

Strang is no stranger to Southern Illinois graduating from Marion High School in 1983, he then enrolled at John A. Logan College and received a degree in accounting before going to Southern Illinois University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1987.

Following his formal education, service to his country came first. His father had served in the Navy. Strang was accepted to attend Air Force Officer Training School in San Antonio, TX and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant by the Air Force in 1988.

Strang’s tenure in the Air Force took him to 14 different countries during which he worked to helped carry out a number of military operations.

Following retirement as a Lt. Col., Strang decided to apply for PTAC director at John A. Logan College.

“My number one goal right now is to reenergize 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.”