The High Technology Foundation’s strategy for achieving its mission is called the Federal Anchor Model. This approach involves the recruitment of Federal operations or “Federal Anchors” that are relocating, expanding or newly established to the region. The highest recruitment priority is on Federal Anchors that offer substantial annual contracting opportunities to businesses. This characteristic is the critical component for achieving economic diversity because it establishes a fundamental business case for companies to locate in the region. Obviously, businesses are interested in pursuing and winning these contracts. Therefore, the businesses tend to “cluster around” the Federal Anchors in order to position themselves to pursue the opportunities. As the quantity of regional contracting opportunities increases through continued Federal Anchor recruitment, the basis of a new economic sector in West Virginia will grow in viability. Eventually, as recruitment efforts are successful, the basis will reach a critical mass that establishes a new economic sector in West Virginia. This newly established economic sector can then contribute at levels commensurate with existing sectors, such as, coal and natural gas, providing economic diversification.
As the name implies, the Federal Anchor Model emphasizes the Federal procurement system because it provides strategic advantages for West Virginia. One such advantage is it puts an emphasis on the substantive inclusion of small businesses. The strength of the nation’s economy has been attributed, in part, to the large participation of small business. This proven element of the national economy must be a core characteristic of new economic sectors developed in West Virginia. Further, by focusing on Federal procurement opportunities, the participation of small businesses will be monitored and regulated by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), thus strengthening this component of the new sector.