Business leaders from NASA prime contractor Jacobs Engineering of Tullahoma, Tennessee, and JBS Solutions Inc., a small business based in Huntsville, Alabama, officially signed a NASA Mentor-Protégé Agreement Oct. 27 – pairing business acumen and cutting-edge technical capabilities to deliver NASA mission solutions and advance the growth of the spaceflight industry.

The signing event was overseen by small business leaders and procurement managers from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, which since 2019 has led the Mentor-Protégé Program for the agency’s Office of Small Business Programs in Washington.

The NASA Mentor-Protégé Program is a vital tool for advancing NASA’s mission in space, honing the skills of our commercial partners big and small, and providing a pipeline to train and replenish the industry’s science and engineering workforce for generations to come,” said David Brock, program manager of NASA’s Mentor-Protégé Program, who has served as Marshall’s small business specialist for more than three decades.

NASA approved the agreement between Jacobs and JBS Solutions in April, but delayed the signing event until COVID-19 safety protocols could be enacted. Under the two-year agreement, JBS Solutions, an 8(a) certified, woman-owned, small disadvantaged business, will aid Jacobs in delivering engineering and science support services at Marshall.

JBS’s corporate offices are situated in a Historically Under-utilized Business Zone, qualifying it as a HUBZone-certified business as well. HUBZone certification was established by the federal government in 1997 to empower economically challenged communities.

Created in 2008, the Mentor-Protégé Program facilitates mutually rewarding agreements between NASA’s large contractors and eligible small businesses and academic institutions. Jacobs is among roughly two dozen NASA prime contractors currently qualified to participate as program mentors. Both mentor firms and prospective protégés go through exhaustive review processes to qualify.

Since 2008, there have been a total of 41 agreements across NASA’s 10 field centers nationwide. Of those 41, Marshall, a six-time recipient of the NASA Small Business Administrator’s Cup, has guided 18 of them.

Learn more about the program and NASA’s Office of Small Business Programs here: