Construction contractors from throughout the state gathered in Fresno to learn how they can get work on the $70 billion project.
The outreach was headed by construction tycoon Ron Tutor. His company has joined with other big engineering and construction firms to look for local help.
"We're here to listen to what they have to offer," Tutor said. "What they would like to do and see if we can create opportunities consistent with their skills and the limits of what they can do."
The high speed rail authority has told the big contractor that 30 percent of the work on high speed rail must go to small companies.
Construction on the first phase of the massive project is slated to begin in Fresno early next year.