by Rhonda McBride
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Anchorage has drawn owners of minority businesses from around the country for two days of meetings.
Their mission is to learn how to manage government contracts, to create jobs and opportunity.
In recent years, Alaska Native corporations have become major players in government contracting.
Alaska's economic landscape has some features that make it unique and Native corporations are among them.
In the field of Alaska-owned businesses, many Native corporations stand out as giants, thanks, in large part, to 8(a) contracting, named for Section 8 of the Small Business Act.
The Kuskokwim Native Corporation serves villages in western interior Alaska, in the Aniak area.
It's a newcomer to government contracting, but got its start when it partnered with NANA, the regional corporation for the Kotzebue area. Together, they developed an aerospace company.
"So they kind of mentored us and eventually we kind of took over the aerospace company on its own," said Kuskokwim Native Corporation CEO Maver Carey.