SOMERSET, Ky. – Representatives from eight Southeast Kentucky manufacturing and service businesses moved one step closer to contracting with the federal government in June, by completing Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED’s) Supplier Education & Economic Development (SEED) training in Somerset.

National Recycling Trailers owner Gene Smith participated in the training held on June 27.

“Our company, National Recycling Trailers in Russell Springs, has been trying to break into government contracting,” Smith said. “This conference was very timely and informative for us. I have already done follow up with the staff, and they are very professional.”

The Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center (KYPTAC) and Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) partnered with SKED for the event and provided in depth information on the procurement process held at The Center for Rural Development. SEED trainings are designed to help the region’s manufacturers prepare and ready their companies with the appropriate certifications and quality control gauges to present their work to a wide range of prime contracting representatives at the Third Annual SEED Defense Contracting Symposium to be held this fall in Morehead, Ky.

Jomel Seams Reasonable Plant Manager Steve Sanders drove from his office in Jamestown, Ky. to attend the training.

“The training was very informative and gives small businesses the tools to help them compete with the larger companies and gives a network to make the connections for opportunities in the market place,” Sanders said.

KYPTAC State Director Darrall Henderson, Ph.D. says navigating the government procurement process can be intimidating. That’s why organizations like KYPTAC, AKA and SKED are combining efforts to give the region’s advanced manufacturers and service industry leaders the tools they need to succeed in the process.

“Training offered through the SEED program is critical to the success of small businesses in the region,” Henderson said. “We enjoy the partnership because it allows us to work with other resource partners to support our constituents in Southeast Kentucky. Operating in a seminar format allows us to interact with clients and meet them where there needs are. It’s always enjoyable for us to interact with our clients and share ideas and information.”

More SEED trainings are being scheduled in August and September.

SKED received a $1.3 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative earlier this year. These trainings and all of the collaborative work being done by the SEED partners is funded by that grant.

For more information about future trainings or the symposium, please contact Brett Traver, SKED executive director at 606-677-6102 or btraver@centertech.com.

Formed 33 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in Southeast Kentucky, the economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 45-county region in Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs. For more information, visit: www.southeastkentucky.com.

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