Paintsville’s American Metal Works among success stories

Some of the region’s most successful small business owners learned about successfully subcontracting with the federal government at Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corp’s most recent Supplier Education & Economic Development training held in Hazard on July 10.

Representatives from the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center partnered with SKED for the event. They gave an in-depth presentation on the bidding and proposal preparation process at the half-day event held at the Hazard Community and Technical College campus.

Darrall Henderson, Ph.D., state director of the KYPTAC said navigating the government procurement process can be intimidating. That’s why organizations like PTAC 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.

“Working together, (SKED and KYPTAC) we hope to use SEED seminars to better prepare companies in Southeast Kentucky to team with other businesses or work directly with the government as a prime contractor,” Henderson said. “We have so many businesses in Southeast Kentucky that are ready to provide valuable goods and services to the government in many forms. Our challenge is to help these companies get exposure to government requirements and prepare them to navigate the government procurement processes.”

Henderson was joined by a panel of three representatives from manufacturing businesses across the region who are currently subcontracting and shared their stories of success in working with prime government contracts: James Glass, co-owner of American Metal Works in Paintsville; Scott Roush, director of manufacturing at Summit Aviation in Somerset; and Anita Sutton, business development manager for Outdoor Venture Corporation, with locations in Pine Knot and Stearns. All shared important information about their experiences in subcontracting with the federal government and gave the participants important tips on the process.

These 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 Second

Annual SEED Defense Contracting Symposium to be held this fall in the region.

According to a statement from SKED, Glass, co-owner of American Metal Works (AMW) in Paintsville, has worked diligently over the past year to acquire a number of certifications needed to qualify his two-year-old business for subcontracting work with the government. Although technically a startup, the 10 employees at AMW boast a combined 75 years of experience in various industries: including coal mining, natural gas drilling and CNC manufacturing. Since 2016, the Johnson County business has successfully acquired certifications as: ISO 9001-2015, AS9100D; NIST 800-171, SBA Hubzone and veteran owned. His business has also successfully acquired contracts with other Southeast Kentucky businesses, thanks, in part, to SEED.

Roush has more than 20 years of manufacturing leadership experience, SKED said in a statement. He’s worked closely with the Japanese automotive industry in the U.S. to learn its continuous improvement tools to provide innovative solutions for difficult sourcing problems. At Summit, Roush deals directly with subcontracting work from Boeing, Bell Helicopter and Raytheon. Since SKED’s inaugural defense contracting symposium in Corbin, Ky. last fall, Roush, on behalf of Summit Aviation, has partnered with other local manufacturers such as OVC, AMW, Swiss Metrology and more. While Summit’s work is geared more toward the aviation sector, it does require a cross-section of production needs that can be filled by local manufacturers, providing more work for local businesses.

SKED’s statement on the training also featured Sutton, who has 25 years of manufacturing experience and has been with OVC since 2003. Her manufacturing experience began in the automotive industry and includes experience in quality assurance, engineering, and business development. Subcontracting work crosses her desk daily at OVC. The 46-year-old, McCreary County business is a leading and prime supplier of critical next-generation military modular tent systems, base camp components, and military accessories for the United States Department of Defense, international governments and private industry.

A total of 10 business owners and their representatives from the across SKED’s 45-county service area gathered in Hazard for the training. Steve Campbell, vice president for project development at Johnson Industries, located in Pikeville came to learn more about the subcontracting process and network with other businesses.

“The information on proposal writing by Darrall Henderson was very helpful,” Campbell said, following the training. “In addition, the panel of suppliers gave good insights on dealing with contract administrators.”

Campbell says he plans to attend more trainings and the contracting symposium this fall.

The Second Annual SEED Defense Contracting Symposium is set for Oct. 25 at The Corbin Center in Corbin.

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

Recommended for you