AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Pantex has contributed more of their operational budget this year to local business partnerships than anticipated.
Pantex's operator, Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS), has awarded the plant more than $99 million to go toward the purchasing of goods and services to help the facility operate day-to-day.
The Texas Panhandle alone has seen nearly $33 million of that money contributed to local small businesses.
"At Pantex we have procure a variety of sources, everything from construction, administration support, technical support, and we try to form these partnerships and it's very important to us because we can't support our mission without good partners," Ryan Johnston, CNS Small Business Manager, said.
Each year, CNS has a goal of how much their facilities, like Pantex, will spend in local economies.
This year there was a goal to reach out to at least 55 percent of small businesses for partnerships, but 88 percent of Pantex partnerships this year were with small businesses.
"Every year we set a new goal, for the 2016 fiscal year our goal was 55 percent, this current fiscal year is going to be 60 percent." Johnston said.
Pantex reaches out to some businesses that the public may not use in our everyday lives.
A-1 Communications is one Amarillo business that has a partnership with Pantex who specializes in pocket pagers and provide them to over 3,000 of Pantex employees.
"Our pocket pagers are carried by all Pantex personnel on the plant because cellphones are not allowed and their personnel," James Beckham, A-1 Communications President, said. "So, the pocket pagers are how they reach their personnel. Cell phones can transmit voice, data and pictures. All of which would impact the security at Pantex."
Pantex is now posting their partnership opportunities online.
These projects are posted on this website.