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How Grit and Dedication Changed a Company’s Fortune in Two Months


Qualitech Aerospace Corporation is a 5-person privately-owned manufacturing business dedicated to advanced parts manufacturing and engineering throughout the United States. Qualitech is located in Long Island, New York.  

The Challenge

Mr. Reynaldo Zapata, Founder and CEO, wanted to secure a Department of Defense (DOD) contract because he felt it was crucial and urgent to keep his business going. Qualitech needed to be cyber secure for the DOD and Northrop Grumman and they needed to do it quickly. The cybersecurity team at the NYMEP Manufacturing and Technology Enterprise Center (MTEC) in Highland, NY, part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™, made sure that Qualitech got there. MTEC worked with Qualitech and the company was able to secure a NYS Cybersecurity Assistance Grant in September 2020. This grant was targeted to help small manufacturers with limited resources secure DOD contracts.
Hey, I wanted to let you know that I just won my first Northrop contract.  I’m so happy and wanted to thank you and to let the rest of the staff know how much I appreciate your help.
— Reynaldo Zapata, Founder and CEO

MEP's Role

The first recommendation was to ask his prime client to delay compliance, giving Qualitech a three-week extension. Therefore, MTEC had three weeks to assess all Qualitech’s cyber risks following the DOD’s most stringent cybersecurity guidelines, fix a subset of failed cybersecurity controls specified by their client, and provide dates when Qualitech will be in full compliance. Sensing Qualitech's urgency, the MTEC cybersecurity team developed a plan to turn a typical two-month process into a three-week delivery. Reynaldo had to get up to speed and fully understand the requirements and deficiencies as he only had a part time IT person. There are no short-cuts to being compliant. Three weeks later, after many calls, questions and training, Qualitech submitted the required cybersecurity documentation and proof to their prime client.  Shortly thereafter, Qualitech's client approved them to submit bids for DOD contracts. By the end of November an excited Rey called and said the company won their first contract to the tune of $77,000.00 with Northrop.

Created July 22, 2021