Continuing a pattern of partnering with New York State-certified minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) and women-owned business enterprises (WBEs), SUNY New Paltz raised its overall percentage of M/WBE purchasing from 54 percent to 67 percent in state fiscal year 2015-2016.
The College’s Purchasing Department has teamed with units across campus in search of opportunities to work with M/WBEs in areas of significant expenditure, including Information Technology, Instructional Media Services and Telecommunications, as well as on major one-time purchases such as the furnishing of Wooster Hall. Additionally, about one third of M/WBE utilization came from construction services contracts administrated through Facilities Management by Elissa Greene.
“Our strategy has always been to achieve utilization from a diverse vendor portfolio, rather than placing all our eggs in one basket,” said Director of Procurement David Farbaniec. “We focus on building long-term relationships with state-contracted vendors, and to evaluate each vendor on the same criteria: price, service, accuracy and quality of product. The Purchasing staff and the many campus departments we work with have done a great job supporting the state’s goals for M/WBE participation, and we are pleased to remain among the SUNY leaders in this area.”
The push to increase M/WBE participation in official purchasing has been a point of emphasis across New York State since the publication of a 2010 Empire State Development disparity study, which found “strong evidence of large, adverse, and frequently statistically significant disparities between minority and female participation in business enterprise activity in New York State’s relevant market area and the actual current availability of those businesses.”
The State University of New York responded by implementing a policy of steadily raising its goals for college and university purchasing from MBEs and WBEs, and incorporating best practices in finding and contracting with M/WBEs in a variety of industries.
The 67 percent rate of M/WBE utilization placed New Paltz second among all SUNY institutions in this metric, behind only SUNY Albany (71 percent).
More information about SUNY’s MWBE Program is available online.