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Woodinville Aerospace Manufacturer Named 2019 SBA Seattle District 8(a) Graduate of the Year

Vulcan Products Owner to Be Honored at Celebration to Recognize All Local SBA Award Winners May 8
Release Date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Lisa White | | (206) 553-7050

SEATTLE – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 2019 Seattle District 8(a) Graduate of the Year is Vulcan Products Company (VPC) in Woodinville, Washington. 

The SBA 8(a) Business Development Program is a nine-year certification that levels the playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities. It limits competition for certain contracts to 8(a) certified businesses and provides technical assistance to empower small businesses to successfully expand through government contracting.

VPC specializes in full-service metal fabrication, precision machining and metrology inspection for industrial OEM clients. They also provide mechanical engineering services including design, drafting and analysis in model based definition.

Originally incorporated by Mike Russell Sr. in 1984 as a small specialty weld, fabrication and machine shop, Russell recognized the opportunity to grow the business through selling to the government.

After 19 years in business, Mike Russell Sr. applied and was accepted into the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program in 2003.  At the time of joining the program, their annual revenues were approximately $1 million and they employed a staff of 15 employees.

During the course of the SBA 8(a) program, VPC won 8(a) contracts from federal agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and consistently achieved “very good” ratings.

Since graduating from the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program in 2012, VPC has shifted from doing business primarily with the government to doing projects for large companies.

Today, VPC is a multi-million dollar business with 38 employees.  They’re currently working to provide metallic build-to-print flight hardware components and complete assemblies to the New Midsize Airplane (NMA) at the Boeing Company.

“VPC is a great example of how an existing business can use the SBA 8(a) program as a business accelerator,” SBA Seattle District Director Kerrie Hurd said. “We’re proud to celebrate the success and staying power of this SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year.”

The SBA 8(a) Graduate of the Year award – part of National Small Business Week May 5-11, 2019 – recognizes a firm that graduated from the 8(a) program for at least one year as of April 1, 2018 with a demonstrated history of successful performance on 8(a) contracts and a reduced reliance on government sales over time.

“Working with the SBA helps to open the door for many small businesses across the nation,” VPC  Vice President and Sales Manager Mike Russell Jr. said. “Making committed delivery dates with the right parts the first time keeps the door open.”

VPC was recognized as the Minority Business of the Year by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and in 2018 they were recognized by the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Center for 16 years of continuous involvement.

"National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the impact of small businesses, which make up 99 percent of all businesses in the Pacific Northwest and create two out of every three net new jobs,” SBA Regional Administrator Jeremy Field said. “Small business owners represent our country’s best. They are innovators, job creators and community leaders. Shining a spotlight on their inspirational stories and journeys is an honor.”

A celebration honoring local SBA winners from Washington state and the SBA Seattle District – which serves the state of Washington and northern Idaho – will be May 8, 2019. Other SBA local awards that will be recognized at the celebration include Small Business Person of the Year, Exporter of the Year, Rising Startup, Veteran-Owned Business of the Year and Small Business Champion of the Year.

Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

For more information about National Small Business Week, visit


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit The Seattle District Office serves most of Washington and northern Idaho with office locations in Seattle and Spokane.



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