(Howard County Chamber photo)

Launching in January 2024, the Howard County Chamber’s Leadership & Economic Advancement Program, or L.E.A.P., is a six-week training program that spans three months, designed to help prepare Central Maryland businesses for success in government contracting. 

The program will enhance overall government contracting knowledge, assist in writing capabilities statements, develop project management skills, highlight business development strategies, and more. 

Participants must have a minimum of two years in business and no more than $1 million in annual revenue. Priority will be given to minority, veteran, and women-owned businesses.

“There are endless opportunities for small and minority businesses in government contracting, but the key to growth and success is understanding the nuances of procurement,” said Leonardo McClarty, president and CEO of the Howard County Chamber. “For businesses coming out of commercial industry, the language and rules alone can be daunting. This program was developed to shorten the learning curve, thereby allowing small businesses to ramp up quicker.”

Throughout the six weeks, esteemed local instructors will lead classes in topics such as marketing, business development strategies, proposal pricing, Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) Rating, contracting officer relationships, project management, and government evaluation of proposals.

Confirmed instructors include Ruby Harvey, retired executive director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Brian Hebbel, former group director of the Office of Acquisition and Grants Management at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Isais “Cy” Alba, partner of PilieroMazza, among others.

Want to learn more? 

Contact the Howard County Chamber at (410) 730-4111.