St. Petersburg University officials reiterate their commitment to increasing diversity among contractors and vendors and host an informational event to strengthen recruitment efforts.
As part of the university’s initiative to make supplier diversity a specific goal across the university, the university’s finance and business operations team will invite local businesses to participate in a program event on September 22nd at 244 2 in the Downtown Center. are invitingnd north of St. Petersburg. Attendees will learn how to partner on upcoming capital and technology projects to help strengthen their communities.
Janet Hunt, vice president of finance and business operations, said diversity has always been part of SPC’s procurement discussions. However, she said the authorities have recently implemented a strategic plan to step up efforts.
“What has happened in the last few months is a very intentional look and review of our process,” said Hunt. “When you’re talking to vendors, make sure they understand our position.”
She said the implementation process was facilitated with the support and guidance of President Dr. Thongjua Williams and the Board of Trustees.
Hunt expressed the importance of allowing local minority, women-owned small businesses to compete for project funding when large institutions such as the SPC select partners. did. She said the money stays and permeates the community.
The program is open to all companies and service providers that the SPC chooses based on their needs, Hunt explains. Business leaders register for free on the program’s website and bid on open opportunities.
Noting the diversity of the SPC’s students, Hunt said the program helps them understand that the university is aligning its money with prescribed values.
“I think it’s important for them to see a representation of themselves,” she added. “Whether it’s education or our business.”
The SPC has created a Supplier Diversity Committee representing several departments and executives across the university. They oversee sourcing choices and focus on creating undervalued business opportunities.
If a registered company loses the bid, Hunt said university officials will stay in touch, similar to Thursday’s first meeting, to provide information on upcoming projects and events. Funding awarded to members comes from the SPC’s general fund, like any other company, but specific projects have specific goals, she said.
“So it’s like a capital project,” Hunt explained. “Within that capital budget, we are looking to diversify our suppliers for part of that project.”
Hunt said those interested in partnering with SPC through the Supplier Diversity Program should register to attend the event. Attendees will also have the opportunity to explore the university’s new Center for Economic Impact and Inclusion. She added that the facility will open soon and attendees will get a “first look” while learning about its purpose and the opportunities it offers to the community.
Hunt said business college students will also be attending the event, calling it a “great start” for incorporating them into the initiative’s mission.
Hunt believes the program offers limitless opportunities, including creating pathways to connect students with local businesses, as the university develops the program. “I am very excited,” she added.
“I think this is just the beginning of this program,” said Hunt. “I think this is something that can grow. I am really proud to be a part of this and to be a part of the Pinellas County community solution.”
For more information, please visit this website.
To pre-register, please visit this website.