Increase Veterans’ Business Opportunities: Register Now for VA’s National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo

Detroit, MI—“Veterans are crucial to our economy, and we need to find them jobs,” declared President Obama during his recent State of the Union Address.

Committed to helping Veterans become successful entrepreneurs and finding fulfillment in self-employment in both the public and private sectors, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is set to host over 6,000 participants from June 26-29, 2012 at the National Veteran Small Business Conference and Expo at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. Are you going to join in the excitement of supporting the Veteran business community?

One of the biggest benefits emphasized at the 2012 Conference will be providing attendees the unique opportunity to network face-to-face in small group settings with procurement decision makers from federal agencies and other businesses. Additionally, attendees will gain valuable knowledge required to build their business capacity and compete for contracts in the training breakout sessions and business requirement breakout sessions.

Responding to the interests expressed from the Veteran community, the VA recently confirmed that the new Director of Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), Michelle Gardner-Ince, will be at the Conference to listen to concerns and address questions about the CVE verification process in a Verification Town Hall. Additionally, attendees will have an opportunity to attend trainings on “How to Avoid Pitfalls in the Verification Process.”  There will also be a Verification booth in the Expo where conference attendees may initiate Verification applications or check the status of an existing application.

Now in its 8th year, the event has expanded several times since it was first established in 2005 as part of a comprehensive initiative to strengthen opportunities in federal contracting for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSBs). First was the addition of the Expo and in 2011, the VA introduced two new elements to the conference: an Open House that provided information about resources available to Veterans and the VetGovPartner online tool that facilitated online connections among conference attendees before, during and after the conference.

Further expanding the resources available for Veterans attending the conference, the VA recently announced that a “VA for Vets” hiring fair would be held during this year’s conference. This hiring fair will build upon the VA’s recent Washington hiring fair that attracted over 4,100 Veterans and resulted in over 2,600 on-the-spot interviews and more than 500 tentative job offers.

With registration nearing the end of Early Bird Pricing, several companies have already signed up to be Platinum and Gold Level sponsors: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Franklin Young, Merck, TLS, General Dynamics, Department of the Army, Valador, and TAPE, LLC.

The conference planning team recently released a Call for Speakers to find dynamic individuals interested in speaking during the conference in front of large groups ranging from 200 to 2,000 people to share their expertise, real-world strategies and knowledge with other business professionals. Please visit by April 6, 2012 to respond to the Call for Speakers!

Halfaker hopes to see you at this year’s conference! Register today at, and join us in helping to increase entrepreneurship, business, and employment opportunities for our Nation’s Veterans.