The Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council (IUBDC) assembled the leaders of 75 prime contractor companies for the first –ever Prime Partner Institute last June at Nicor Gas in Naperville. IUBDC representatives from Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Illinois American Water, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas met with the participants to discuss ways to accelerate use of the Tier II contractors, increase diversity in state contracts, and promote balanced economic and community growth. The event focused on four key topics:
Illinois State Senator of the 11th senate district, Martin Sandoval delivered an inspiring opening message to the prime contractors, sharing the economic benefits of developing a diverse supply chain and encouraging them to develop a plan to better utilize diverse subcontractors. Afternoon work sessions centered on developing long-term approaches for balancing contracts that are outsourced and performed in-house, and balancing work with a variety of suppliers. A critical focus area for the utility members’ Supplier Diversity team was to help identify and connect with diverse suppliers through continued education and awareness events that provide technical assistance to the MBE, WBE and VBEs.
Diverse suppliers and prime contractors from the Chicagoland area came together to participate in the IUBDC’s Phase III Institute, which took place in November at the new Peoples Gas Energy Training Center in Chicago. The event was the third installment of an IUBDC series intended to educate and facilitate better connections between diverse suppliers looking for opportunities and prime contractors looking for job partners. The Phase lll Institute focused on establishing consistent supplier reporting protocols for prime partners. Event participants heard from several speakers and joined discussions that centered on
Later, more than 50 diverse suppliers who participated in the day’s activities also enjoyed networking sessions that connected them with prime contractor decision-makers and utility leaders.
Post event evaluations indicated that participants received valuable insights that will help facilitate new buy/sell opportunities, along with useful information such as details on insurance requirements for building a supplier diversity program within their own companies. To see photos from both events, please visit the Council Photo Gallery.
Here are a few of their comments:
This was a wonderful event. Business diversity is a good business practice, and it helps our industry overall. It’s great to see us all working in unison to support business diversity and grow our local economy.
I liked that this was more than networking; it was really a brainstorming session. Everyone here is engaged in diversity and has great ideas and best practices that we can share.
It was great to see what others are experiencing. The breakouts highlighted the overlap in thinking – we all have the same opportunities and concerns – and we took away a few things to take back to our organization.
It was great! I learned a LOT!
We supply products, and face different challenges with finding diverse suppliers than a service provider. I learned a variety of ways we can utilize and report diverse vendors in our business.
Comments are closed.