• microplan

    A microloan program designed to assist women, low income, veteran, and minority entrepreneurs, and other small businesses will be evaluated for its impact in growth outcomes

    The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Microloan Program makes direct loans to qualified nonprofit, quasi-governmental and tribal mediators that, in turn, lend working capital for job creation, equipment, and material purchases. This program is essential for small businesses who do not qualify for traditional business loans and who have historically been underrepresented in the business community across a number of industries. […]

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  • SBA Logo

    Optimal evaluated four Small Business Administration programs using logic models to determine outcomes

    A logic model provides a visual likeness of the key program pathways linking program components to short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes. The purpose of a logic model is to define a program’s theory of change by showing how the program’s underlying assumptions, strategies, resources, activities, and contextual factors are expected to lead to the desired outcomes. Optimal prepared logic models […]

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  • Optimal develops AI-tool to assist government agencies identify qualified under-represented firms

    Government agencies often use incomplete and non-systematic approaches to identify qualified contractors and capable, socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses for government requests. While information about firms is available, it is stored across disparate systems that are not linked together. In order for staff to more efficiently identify small disadvantaged businesses, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal), developed a series of […]

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  • Optimal assessed the impact of small business development program

    The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program grants participants access to set-aside or sole source contracts, a business opportunity specialist, the right to enter a mentor-protégé program, and other benefits. The goal of the Evaluation of 8(a) Certified Firms is to better understand the market for goods and services demanded by federal agencies and those supplied by 8(a) businesses. The […]

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  • Optimal assessed the impact of SBA’s Emerging Leaders Training and Mentoring Initiative

    This study helped SBA in improving the program enactment of Emerging Leaders (e200) Training and Mentoring Initiative by identifying strategies to improve program participation and stakeholder engagement. It also identified the factors affecting the business revenue and business survival rates of the businesses poised for growth in historically challenged communities. Optimal assisted in developing the overall evaluation frameworks for SBA’s […]

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  • SBA Logo

    Optimal assessed the performance of the SBA small business regional clusters

    The SBA’s Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) Initiative, launched in September 2010, promotes and supports U.S. regional clusters—geographically concentrated groups of connected businesses, suppliers, service providers, and similar institutions in an industry or field. Clusters act as a networking hub to convene resources for small businesses. This then helps small businesses in navigating funding, procurement, and supply-chain opportunities in their specific […]

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  • Optimal analyzed small business program designed to provide business development assistance

    Established in 2016, the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP) extends the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) approved mentor-protégé relationships to every small business. The program’s goal is to develop strong protégé firms through mentor-provided business development assistance. Optimal assessed why firms leave the ASMPP either during the application process before they are approved for the program or during the program participation […]

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  • 29439 DEV Color

    Optimal Solutions Group Appraised at CMMI Level 3 – Development

    Optimal Solutions Group, LLC today announced that it has been appraised at level 3 for Development (DEV) of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)®. The appraisal was performed by Abridge Technology. CMMI is a capability improvement framework that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes that ultimately improve their performance.

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  • Using Mobile Applications in Opioid Treatment: Opportunities and Challenges

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) awarded Optimal a contract to assess the implementation and effectiveness of mobile application technology to provide recovery support services to patients undergoing treatment for opioid dependence in an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).

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Recent Press Releases


Archived Press Releases
Workforce & Economic Development Policy Roundtable: Focus on Low-Skilled Workers, Promising Careers, and Green Jobs

June 17, 2010

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) recently hosted prominent government, educational, and business leaders to talk about employment options for low-skilled workers in the greater Baltimore Metropolitan area. For over two hours, Optimal researchers and Roundtable attendees shared information and stories in an effort to relay crucial information promoting workforce and economic development in the greater Baltimore area. The topics provided […]


Turner Family Establishes New Scholarship to Support Undergraduate Economics Students

June 4, 2010

Dr. Mark D. Turner (Ph.D. ’96) and his wife, Tracye have established an endowed scholarship to support undergraduate economics students at the University of Maryland who have demonstrated service and leadership. Deserving students of this scholarship will be selected based on their commitment to improve society as a whole through the improvement of minority communities. The Turners’ dedication to the […]


University of Maryland Economics Department Invites Mark Turner to speak at Commencement

June 1, 2010

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Turner delivered the keynote address at the May 21 commencement ceremony for the Department of Economics at his alma mater, the University of Maryland.


Dr. Nancy Miller Discusses Long-Term Care for Seniors

May 20, 2010

Dr. Nancy Miller, associated professor at University of Maryland – Baltimore County, presented findings from a recent study on home and community-based care (HCBS) and its correlation to rebalancing long-term care systems. Dr. Miller’s presentation, “Medicaid Home and Community-Based Care,” discussed Federal and state policy initiatives related to long-term care, Medicaid’s role in providing long-term care, and factors that are […]


Fashola Chairs Sessions at AERA Conference, Presents to Chicago Public Schools

May 5, 2010

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC’s Principle Research Fellow Toks Fashola, Ph.D., recently participated in the American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Annual Meeting in May, 2010. Dr. Fashola served as Chair for two sessions of the conference:  “Academic Achievement and Learning for Life Due to Participation in Out-of-School Programs,” and “Multiple Identities for Blacks in Math, Science and Technology.” She also served […]


NCSER Releases Technical Paper “Statistical Power Analysis in Education Research”

April 28, 2010

The Institute of Educations Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education contracted with Optimal Solutions Group, LLC to develop a guide for calculating statistical power for complex multilevel designs that are used in most field studies in education.


Maryland Lieutenant Governor Brown Tours Optimal

April 20, 2010

As part of the State of Maryland’s commitment to keep current on the pulse of local businesses, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown regularly makes time to tour sites across the state. 


Walton to Present on ELL Student Performance at AERA

April 20, 2010

At the American Education Research Association’s (AERA’s) Annual Meeting in Denver on May 1, Ebony L. Walton will present her research on how the language used at home and length of residence in the U.S. relate to the identification of English Language Learners (ELL) status and student performance on NAEP mathematics, reading, and science.


Optimal Professional Development Series: Dr. Heidi Golding Discusses the Prevalence of PTSD in the Military

March 25, 2010

Dr. Heidi Golding, principal analyst in the National Security Division at the Congressional Budget Office, highlighted her evaluations of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in an Optimal Solutions Group’s Professional Development Series Brown Bag Lunch.


Education Streamlined Acquisition Tool (ED-SAT) Awarded

February 19, 2010

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a contractor under its Streamlined Acquisition Tool Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ), a research, evaluation and technical assistance contract. ED-SAT provides an expedient way to meet the recurring needs of the U.S. Department of Education by using pre-competed pools of experts. This contracting mechanism presents Optimal […]


UMD Associate Vice President Welcomes Optimal to M Square Research Park

February 17, 2010

As the only public policy research firm in the M Square research park, Optimal Solutions Group, LLC has a unique opportunity to share in UMD’s research mission and vision, according to Brian Darmody, Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development. Mr. Darmody’s opening remarks at Optimal’s annual corporate kickoff meeting in early January conveyed UMD’s enthusiasm at forging a […]


Ruth Sherman Joins Optimal as Associate

January 1, 2010

Ruth Sherman is an Associate in the Health Policy Research Center at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal). At Optimal, Ms. Sherman provides subject matter expertise and technical assistance for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Program Integrity Manual (PIM) project.


Lane Koenig, Ph.D. Named Senior Associate

January 1, 2010

Dr. Lane Koenig is a Senior Research Associate at Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal). At Optimal, Dr. Koenig provides senior-level oversight to Health Policy Research Center projects and activities. He leads the analysis and testing activities for the Development, Implementation, and Maintenance of Quality Measures for Hospital Outpatient Departments and Ambulatory Surgical Centers project. In addition, he serves as a […]


Optimal Receives Program Support Center IDIQ Task Order Contract from DHHS

February 25, 2009

Optimal Solutions Group, LLC (Optimal) has received designation as a contractor for the Program Support Center (PSC) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quality (IDIQ) Task Order contract to provide services to the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies. Services contemplated under this contract are to include policy assessments/analysis, program assessments, evaluation design studies and data collection, performance measurements, technical assistance/expertise, […]


Occupation-specific Collaboration Among Local Stakeholders Key to Energizing Baltimore’s Economic Growth, New Study Finds

February 24, 2009

Even before the current economic crisis hit the United States, the decline of domestic manufacturing, the rise of globalization, and increased competition for good jobs had created unprecedented challenges for low-skill American workers. These challenges have disproportionately affected older industrial metropolitan areas such as Baltimore, where the unemployment spiked to 5.8% in December – its highest rate this decade.1 In […]


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