The commercial world provides many paths on which companies can become acquainted, and then develop a relationship that blossoms into mutual growth. So it is with Tetra Tech and IO Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. (IOEI).

“Supplying drinking water to Tetra Tech’s trailers at Hunters Point Shipyard [in San Francisco] got me into the [federal contracting] system in 2007 as a disabled vet,” says Mike Bilodeau, IOEI’s CEO. Soon IOEI provided Tetra Tech a technical writer and now provides archeologists and data specialists. The firm has grown steadily and provides broad environmental services and performs civil infrastructure facilities construction. It is registered as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with the Small Business Administration. Veterans comprise 40 percent of their workforce.

“Mike’s company is on our team because it has the financial fit, the capacity, and the organizational structure with quality personnel [to support a contract],” says Bill Dougherty, Tetra Tech’s project manager at Hunters Point. IOEI teams with Tetra Tech on all of Tetra Tech’s radiological clean-up for the U.S. Navy at Hunters Point on an agreement to provide services, supplies, personnel, and labs. IOEI has been subcontracted for more than $10 million at Hunters Point and nearby Treasure Island.

“We are a true small business partner, and Tetra Tech has helped beyond expectations,” says Mr. Bilodeau. Tetra Tech’s ability to pay for services early improved IOEI’s cash flow, which helped it qualify for insurance bonding for larger projects. This could only happen after years of working together and building mutual trust. “Tetra Tech is the most supportive partner in helping us grow,” he states. IOEI’s services now include construction equipment rentals and historic building restorations and upgrades (energy use, Disabilities Act compliance).

Looking ahead with Tetra Tech, Mr. Bilodeau sees more utility construction work and is learning more about Midwestern opportunities as Tetra Tech provides access to joint pursuits with other offices across the company.

“We are a mature federal contractor, and we’re Tetra Tech’s best kept secret because we’re easy to work with,” says Mr. Bilodeau.