Delaware River & Bay Authority Makes Diversity a Priority
Recent Training Underscores Financial Benefits
Wilmington, DE – Using a diverse pool of suppliers saves money and promotes small businesses. That was the message Delaware River & Bay Authority employees heard during a recent training session conducted by regional consultants Goeins-Williams Associates.
Nearly twenty percent of the 23 million small businesses in the United States are owned by minorities, according to U.S. Census data. “Despite economic challenges, minority- and women-business enterprises are growing. Minority businesses, for example, represent a quarter of all firms yet receive only 1% of corporate procurement,” says Devona Williams, Ph.D., “Supplier diversity policies are good strategies that yield bottom line benefits to businesses and provide added opportunities to diverse suppliers.”
The Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA) owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Cape May-Lewes Ferry and manages five regional airport facilities, including ones in New Castle County, Delaware and Millville, New Jersey.
One of only two national recipients of the 2008 Federal Aviation Administration’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advocate and Partner Award, the DRBA has made supplier diversity a priority throughout the organization. Budget planning for 2010, for example, set goals for spending with disadvantaged, minority and women-owned enterprises.
One component of their supplier diversity strategy was to raise awareness among front-line employees. The DRBA reached out to Goeins-Williams Associates, which specializes in strategic planning, organizational development and performance improvement.
“It was very important for us to get this right the first time,” said Michael Schirmer, DRBA Supplier Diversity Manager. “Goeins-Williams Associates helped us to make our unique supplier diversity training initiative successful.”
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the Three Forts Ferry Crossing and the Salem Business Centre in Carney’s Point Township, NJ. The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers – two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated by the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.
Goeins-Williams Associates (GWA), Inc. is in its twentieth year of operation as an independent national performance consulting business, headquartered in Delaware. Founded by Devona E. G. Williams, Ph.D., President & CEO, GWA focuses on people, process and performance improvement needs of organizations and provides services including strategic planning and organizational development. GWA is a certified, award- winning WBE/MBE and in 2009 was named a Top 100 WBE/MBE in the region. For more information, visit www.goeinswilliams.com or call 302-659-1099.
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