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CSU Earns Recognition for Supplier Diversity Efforts

Commission on Economic Inclusion honors university as part of 2019 Best-in-Class Awards

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Commission on Economic Inclusion has selected Cleveland State University to receive the 2019 Best-In-Class Supplier Diversity award. It recognizes the University’s efforts to expand opportunities for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to provide goods and services to various departments, colleges, and divisions on campus. The award was presented at GCP’s annual meeting June 10.

“At Cleveland State University, diversity and inclusion is an integral part of the University’s mission,” notes Ronnie Dunn, CSU’s interim chief diversity officer. “This includes building a diverse supplier base that reflects our campus community and the city we call home. It is a tremendous honor to have our efforts recognized by the GCP.”

In 2016, CSU set a goal to purchase at least 10 percent of goods and services from state-certified MBE’s annually. Over the next three years CSU developed a comprehensive awareness campaign to promote the offerings provided by MBEs, while also working with individual enterprises to identify business opportunities and connect them with purchasing managers at CSU. This included the creation of an annual supplier diversity fair on campus highlighting Cleveland-area MBEs and a “matchmaking” initiative designed to pair qualified suppliers with potential university customers. In 2018, the University announced that it had exceeded its goal with 11 percent of goods and services coming from MBEs in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

“Doing business with diverse suppliers not only impacts procurement spend it stimulates the downstream economy,” Dunn adds. “As an anchor institution, CSU looks to enhance the socioeconomic vitality of the surrounding communities in which we do business and recognizes partnering with diverse businesses as an important part of our purchasing practices.”

In honor of its across the board efforts to support diversity and inclusion, Cleveland State was inducted into the Commission on Economic Inclusion’s Hall of Fame in 2015.

The Commission on Economic Inclusion works with Northeast Ohio employers to make the region’s diversity a source of economic strength. The Commission works to increase board, senior management, workforce and supplier diversity among industries and sectors; with the goal of ensuring that minority businesses and minority workers are part of Northeast Ohio’s economic prosperity.