Congressman Norm Dicks visited UltraPoly’s Tacoma headquarters earlier this month to personally present a contract award certificate from the U.S. Navy to company officials.

The contract calls for UltraPoly to manufacture $288,000 of ship batter boards—the maritime equivalent of bumpers.

Dicks was accompanied by officials from both the Navy and Small Business Administration to acknowledge that UltraPoly is the first firm in the Puget Sound to receive a contracting opportunity in a program designed to help disadvantaged businesses better compete.

UltraPoly lies in a HUBZone—short for “historically underutilized business” area.

HUBZones are designated neighborhoods with either low-income or high unemployment. To qualify, firms must employ at least 35 percent of their employees from the HUBZone as well as be located there.

UltraPoly is on Hood Street, near the intersection of Pine Street and South Tacoma Way. It employs 50 people, 35 percent of whom live in a HUBZone.