Branch Technical Services received its SWaM (Small, Women and Minority – Owned Business) certification in April of 2015, thanks to the efforts of CPO, Shirley Hayden. The SWaM Certification Program was created in 2006, specifically for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The program is intended to enhance business opportunities for SWaM businesses, like BTS. With this certification, BTS is included in the SWaM Set – Aside Program, which mandates 23 percent of state agency procurement activities be facilitated by SWaM businesses. In addition to SWaM certification, BTS is also filing for 8(a) certification. The Small Business Administration 8(a) program helps “socially and economically disadvantaged” businesses gain access to new contract opportunities, and the economic mainstream. The program also helps facilitate a healthy balance between commercial and government customers. 8(a) certification will further the success of BTS, and help us thrive in a competitive business environment by protecting the interests of small businesses.