Who are the top 8(a)s in today's market?

We rank the largest 8(a) prime contractors serving the federal government.

Each year our Top 25 8(a) rankings reveal some of the hidden and not-so-hidden gems of the government market.

This year is no exception, and the gem sitting at the top of the rankings for the third year running is MicroTech LLC, a business with a record of growth that is bringing it a higher profile in the government market.

This year, MicroTech has landed at No. 1 on the 2011 Top 25 8(a) rankings, No. 2 on the Washington Technology 2011 Fast 50 list of the fastest growing government contractors, and No. 75 on our 2011 Top 100. In 2010, the company also captured spots on all three Washington Technology rankings.

The 2011 Top 25 8(a) rankings are based on an analysis of federal procurement data using the same group of product and service codes we use to rank the annual Top 100 contractors. The codes cover IT, telecommunications, systems integration, engineering services, professional services and other IT-related spending by government agencies.

The companies on the list are all participants in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) business development program, which is designed to promote the growth of minority-owned small businesses. There are five companies on the rankings that have graduated from the program, but we left them on because their graduation dates fell so late in fiscal 2011.

We took a second step in our analysis by pulling out companies owned by Alaska Native Corporations and American Indian tribes. We’ve listed those companies in a separate chart.

In addition to MicroTech, there are eight other companies making a repeat appearance on the Top 25. These include ActioNet, USfalcon, Alon Inc., 2020 Co., Guident Technologies, Ace Info Solutions, and M2 Technology.

The capabilities and services provide by the Top 25 cover the breadth of the IT-related services that the government is buying.

For example, Primescape Solutions Inc., No. 14, provides strategic planning, software development, business intelligence, enterprise content management and IT services. Customers include the State and Health and Human Services departments, the Government Printing Office, the Army, and the Navy.

2020 Co., No. 7, has focused its solutions in three core areas: health care, education and science.

Advanced C4 Solutions, No. 18, targets military customers with enterprise IT services, intelligence, and tactical and strategic communications.

In fact, focus seems to be a common thread among these companies, with each finding and excelling in its particular niche.

“We’re a reseller, but we only resell what we are experts in,” said MicroTech’s CEO Tony Jimenez in an interview earlier this year. “That’s how you bring value.”