Last month the University of Connecticut was awarded its first ever “Institution of Higher Learning of the Year” award.  The award was given by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (GNEMSDC) which a focus on connecting public and private organizations with local minority owned suppliers.

According to the UConn website, this “particular award was created to recognize an institution of higher learning that has contributed to GNEMSDC’s goals of minority business development by having a supplier diversity program that has resulted in buying goods and services from minority business enterprises.”

While large scale corporations in the private sector spend massive sums with diverse suppliers, more and more educational institutions are joining the cause.  Private corporations operate a bit differently from public institutions like UConn but the need to purchase from diverse suppliers is still important.  In fact, public universities are mandated by many state and federal procurement departments to purchase as high as 35% of its toal spend on upcoming projects with diverse suppliers.  This requirement makes connecting with local small and diverse organizations that specialize in this aspect an imperative and I believe we will continue to see more and more colleges partner with organizations like the GNEMSDC.

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