The award was created to honor people and organizations that have demonstrated innovative and creative strategies to remove barriers for under-represented groups; that support women, the disadvantaged and small businesses and allowed for increased public and private construction contract opportunities. Tanya Pope, assistant vice president for University Supplier Diversity and Business Integration, accepted the award for Columbia at NAMC-NY’s inaugural holiday gala held at Terrace On the Park in Flushing today.
“I accept this award on behalf of my colleagues across Columbia who work continuously to create and expand opportunities for MWL owned businesses and workforce members,” said Pope. “The award represents the team’s efforts not just at the Manhattanville campus but also the University’s demonstrated commitment throughout the Morningside and Medical Center campuses.”
Columbia University has a long-standing commitment to working with MWL business enterprises, whether by establishing purchasing relationships with vendors, entering into consulting agreements for services, or contracting for construction, renovation, or repair services. Over the past five fiscal years, Columbia University Facilities and Operations, covering the University’s Morningside and Manhattanville campuses, spent $697 million with MWL firms. The total amount represents more than 34 percent of total construction, maintenance and repair spend, with an MWL construction workforce accounting for 46 percent of the total hours worked on these projects.
In addition to its ongoing efforts in the MWL space, last year, Columbia launched CU Grow, a program designed to help select MWL businesses that are current university vendors grow their business and expand their capacity through a coaching program. The program’s curriculum was designed by the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. In December 2018, the program will graduate its second cohort.