The Huntington Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, in conjunction with the Huntington District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held the 5th Annual Huntington Small Business Conference at the Big Sandy Superstore Civic Arena in Huntington, W.Va. on May 10, 2018.

The conference is designed to allow contractor's to set up displays to highlight their firm's capabilities in order to provide networking opportunities with other firms, both large and small. The event drew more than 120 people from over 70 firms.

"We don't want to discount the contributions of large businesses," said Eileen Hodges, Deputy for Small Business, Huntington District. "In fact, large businesses are required by Federal Acquisition Regulations to sub-contract some of their work they receive from the Corps to small businesses." As part of their contract with the Corps, large firms are required to submit a sub-contracting plan. Events like this allow them to meet qualified small businesses to fulfill this requirement.

The Deputy for Small Business for Louisville District, Crystal Harbin, was on hand for the Huntington event. "We all have several events like this each year and contractors that work on similar projects for both of our districts can find the same qualified small businesses."

Not only did the conference have a number of displays from a variety of engineering and construction firms it held a number of informational seminar type discussion groups designed to learn more about best practices in achieving subcontracting goals, learning more about how the Corps operates and networking with the district's engineers and contracting specialists. "It all about inspiring relationships," said Hodges.