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News, tips, and information for MDCP cooperators.

Operating Plan Due Today, September 15.
By now you should have worked with your federal team to plan how it can best help you to achieve your goals during the coming months, October through September. The new 2010 cooperators will get a couple of weeks extra to get theirs submitted. Link to a previous MaDCaP issue that explains operating plans.

New Cooperators Will Visit DC for Orientation.
Five new cooperators will visit Washington, DC September 20-21 for new-cooperator orientation and the initial meeting with their federal team. Here are some tips for those visiting the Herbert Clark Hoover Building (HCHB), the Department of Commerce's headquarters, in downtown Washington, DC. Hotel accommodations in Washington, DC are not cheap. Three hotels are less than a block directly north of HCHB: "W", The Willard, and the J.W. Marriot. Other choices a little further away, such as the Hilton Garden Inn on 14th and I streets or Hampton Inn and the Red Roof Inn over in the Chinatown area might be a bit cheaper. Cheaper still should be hotels near Metro stations in suburban Maryland or Northern Virginia. For example, there is a Quality Inn a ten minute's walk from the College Park Metro station. The Metro ride to downtown from there takes about 30 minutes. Try Expedia,, Destination DC or other such services for more ideas. Of course, we do not endorse any particular hotel or hotel-finder. The information above is just what we had on hand. It is intended only to give you an idea of what some of your options are so you can do your own search.

Getting Into HCHB.
MDCP is a program of the International Trade Administration headquartered in HCHB. Here's a photo of the HCHB main entrance on 14th Street, Northwest, halfway between Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues. To gain access to the building on September 20, enter at the street level, show your driver license or other government-issued identification, and have the security staff call 202-482-4921 for an escort. You'll have to go through a checkpoint that is similar to what we all have to endure at an airport.

Initial Meetings of New MDCP Teams.
September 21 will be the first time that the combined cooperator-ITA team will meet. The agenda will be unique for each team, but here are some items that should be on each team's agenda. (1) Introduction of all team members. You will be better able to leverage the support of ITA team members if you know what they can do. (2) Review of project workplan, coordination of upcoming activities, and discussion of possible modifications. (3) Development of fiscal year plan described above. (4) Determination of administrative funds needs during the first fiscal year. (“Admin” funds are ITA funds for the federal team to support activities in addition to those listed in the award winner’s original work plan. Admin funds enhance but do not replace the cooperator’s award budget. Admin funds should be used only on activities of mutual benefit to both ITA and the cooperator.) (5) Ensuring that ITA knows and can help the companies you are trying to help. (6) Basics like ensuring that everyone knows who is on the team, how often and how the team communicates, who tracks action items from meetings, etc.



The morning of the second day of MDCP orientation, new cooperators meet together for training relevant to all MDCP projects. After lunch together, the afternoon is reserved for smaller meetings where members of each MDCP project team get to know each other and coordinate upcoming activities.


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