MCC understands the value of identifying diverse vendors and the value of maintaining good vendor relationships. As one of the country's premier urban-suburban community colleges, MCC strives to extend opportunities not only to students, but also to small, minority and women-owned businesses. This initiative is a powerful means of benefitting the economy and the communities we serve.
If you are an MBE or WBE that is interested in providing services to MCC, you are encouraged to join our registry of suppliers, or you can contact:
Program Coordinator - Supplier Diversity
Metropolitan Community College hosts free vendor fairs where minority, female and LGBT businesses can exhibit to other companies.
At Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, relationships with diverse suppliers center as much on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses as they do on signing contracts with the institution, says Christine Kelly, the coordinator of the school’s supplier diversity program.
“There are times we just cannot procure with all business owners—and we may never be able to do business with some of them,” Kelly says. “But I feel if we can’t do something with a business, let’s reach out and help the owners in other ways.”
Each year, the college holds several free expositions and forums where minority, female and LGTB business owners can exhibit their products and services to campus buyers as well as to outside companies and government agencies. Many leave with new procurement opportunities, Kelly says.
Kelly is putting together a directory of diverse-owned businesses that buyers at all five of Metropolitan’s campuses can access. And in exchange for extensive outreach, some of these business owners have enrolled their children and employees in the community college.
“All of our campuses are in diverse communities,” she says. “So it is important for us to stay focused on diversity and inclusivity, not only with our students and faculty, but in every aspect of our business.” About UB: University Business
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Procurement One-on-One Outreach Business Forum
MCC's annual "Relationships to Partnerships" Midwest Supplier Diversity Exposition brings together minority- and women-owned businesses to showcase their products and services. The event is held during the close of the summer session at the Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology campus. It is sponsored by MCC's human resources and purchasing departments in conjunction with the Midwest Supplier Diversity Planning Committee, which consists of supplier diversity advocates from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. This planning committee formed as a collaborative group to unify efforts to promote supplier diversity in the Greater Kansas City region.
The expo is designed to introduce minority-owned businesses to procurement officers
from the public and private sectors and to foster networking among the various entrepreneurs.
"The event is a huge success," says Chris Kelly, MCC's supplier diversity program
coordinator. "We tend to draw a large
group of businesses from diverse fields who are able to connect and learn. As an educational institution, Metropolitan Community College works to educate our community and business leaders about securing contracts and searching for opportunities to partner with diverse businesses." About 100 businesses are usually represented, including companies owned by minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals, veterans and service-disabled veterans, as well as HUB (historically underutilized business) zone enterprises.
Some of the businesses on hand includes catering services, promotional products, electrical services/supplies, plumbing services, office supplies, furniture, marketing services, advertising services, restoration and environmental services, various consulting services, athletic uniforms/gear, janitorial services/supplies, landscaping services and engineering services. Admission is free.
The supplier diversity program is managed and supported by MCC's Chief of Staff Kathy Walter-Mack.
Supporting partners: Testimonials from a few of those who attended this year:
- "Cartwright Tree Care has participated in the Midwest Supplier Diversity Expo for two years. We have gained a lot of diverse business relationships, friendships and valuable information!" — Desiree Collier, Cartwright Tree Care
- "We met quite a few new businesses that we will be working with, and our members that participated all were impressed with the event. Thank you and the rest of the team for all that you do to help our W/MBEs in Kansas City." — Gabriel Munoz, director of sales, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- "Thank you to the committee for putting together the Midwest Diversity Expo 2016. Starrtek had a booth at the expo, and greatly appreciated the opportunity to be a part of it. Meeting, getting to know and finding opportunities to partner with other local businesses has been extremely important in growing Starrtek to the company it is today. This expo provided us with numerous opportunities for growth of individual companies. Starrtek will very possibly bring in a number of new clients due to the connections made at the Expo. Thank you for the hard work in a very successful event!" –– Mary Moeller, Starrtek LLC
A Coalition for Kansas City's Multicultural Businesses
Metropolitan Community College, is one of 29 organizations that is committed to increasing entrepreneurial engagement and the community’s awareness of multicultural businesses.
Women-owned and multicultural businesses are the fastest growing segments in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Between 2007 and 2012, in Kansas City alone, the number of women-owned businesses grew by just under 30 percent, minority businesses by 43 percent and Hispanic-owned businesses by 69 percent, outpacing the 8.6 percent increase in total number of firms.
And yet, despite steep increases in numbers, these businesses tend to be smaller both in revenue and number of employees.
Why? Women and multicultural entrepreneurs frequently lack access to the capital and support required to grow a business.
Multicultural Business Coalition
In collaboration with KCSourceLink, Adrienne Haynes (entrepreneur and attorney) formed the Multicultural Business Coalition to better support Kansas City’s business owners of color?
- Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce*
- Hispanic Chamber of Commerce*
- Hispanic Contractors Association
- Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) *
- Kansas City Black Business
- Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce*
- Kansas City, Kansas Community College*
- KC BizCare*
- Metropolitan Community College*
- Midwest Women's Business Enterprise Council
- Minority Contractors Association
- Missouri Department of Transportation
- Missouri Secretary of State*
- Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council*
- National Black MBA Association
- Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce*
- SEED Law, LLC
- U.S. Small Business Administration*
- Urban Financial Services Coalition
*Indicates KCSourceLink Resource Partner
Professional development leaders at Metropolitan Community College played a key role
at a summer conference, focusing on procuring the best and most diverse resources
for higher education.
MCC Chancellor Mark James was the welcome speaker for the 2016 National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Supplier Diversity Institute, held at the Embassy Suites in Kansas City, MO from July 31 to August 2.
Representatives from 75 to 80 universities, community colleges and K-12 schools from around the country attended. Participants included directors of procurement business officers, chief operating officers and supplier diversity leaders, from the college arena and beyond.
Chris Kelly, MCC program coordinator for supplier diversity, and co-chair of the host
committee (along with Daryl Hodnett, Director-Supplier Diversity and Small Business
Development Program at the University of Missouri) for the event, was pleased that
James opened the conference as an "advocate for supplier diversity." "This was a great
opportunity for him to show that although we are a two year institution, we can compete
alongside the four year institutions," says Kelly.
MCC was also a sponsor for an evening reception for the conference attendees at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The mission of the National Association of Educational Procurement is to facilitate the development, exchange and practice of effective and ethical procurement principles and techniques within higher education and associated communities, through continuing education, networking, public information and advocacy.