MLGW breaks own record for diverse spending

MLGW 4-c logo spot [Converted]MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In the second quarter of 2015, MLGW’s supplier diversity spending accounted for 41 percent of all outside contracts for goods and services, the highest percentage in any quarter since the program began in 1996.

In its latest supplier diversity report, MLGW says it spent $31 million on contracts for goods, supplies, and professional and other services from April 1 to June 30. $12.7 million of that spending went to businesses owned by minorities, women and local residents.

Construction spending has performed especially well in this regard, with 80 percent of contract funds going to companies included in the diversity spending program — more than double the annual goal of 42 percent. “There is no [large] company in the city of Memphis,” said Jozelle Luster Booker, Manager of Procurement and Contracts, “and probably in the entire United States of America that can say that, of its construction projects, over 80 percent of the spend is with minority-, women- and locally owned small businesses.” Likewise, MLGW boasts an unusually high 37 percent of goods and supplies coming from such firms.

This report shows a trend in the utility’s efforts to increase the diversity of vendors awarded outside contracts. In 2012, spending with included businesses was 18 percent.

That number increased to 23 percent in 2014, when MLGW revised its supplier diversity policy and began seeking qualifed businesses more aggressively.

In addition to increasing business with minority- and women-owned suppliers, MLGW also implemented its Sheltered Market Program in 2014, providing opportunities for locally owned businesses to exclusively compete for purchases under $100,000. So far in 2015, about $5 million has been awarded to local businesses.

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