KCTCS spending with diverse suppliers continues to grow

Versailles, Ky. – It’s a given that the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is working hard to close the achievement gap among underrepresented minority students. But many people probably don’t know the system also has a goal to increase the number of diverse suppliers with whom they do business. KCTCS defines diverse suppliers as businesses owned by ethnic minorities, women, veterans or the differently abled.  

KCTCS began a Supplier Diversity program in 2009 to reflect the diversity of students and employees from the 16 colleges and the Commonwealth. The goal of the program is to increase the amount spent with diverse suppliers each year. Last fiscal year, KCTCS spent $6.8 million with diverse suppliers, which was a little more than 10 percent of its total spend with all suppliers. This was an increase of nearly $600,000 over the year before.

“We’re proud of the steps we took back in 2009 to move KCTCS in the right direction to increase the number of diverse suppliers we work with,” KCTCS Vice President Wendell Followell said. “This program was not a state mandate. We felt it was something we needed to do, and we we’re making good progress.”

KCTCS has a Supplier Registration Portal to register diverse suppliers for goods and services. Once registered, suppliers are eligible to receive invitations to participate in opportunities to work with the system through a competitive invitation to bid, request for proposal or request for quote process. There is no cost associated for suppliers to register or participate. 

In addition, KCTCS belongs to various organizations that distribute opportunities from groups such as Tri-State Minority Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise Council of the Ohio River Valley and Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center. 

In 2015, the KCTCS Supplier Diversity initiative was recognized as one of the top five finalists for Best Practices by the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers. Additionally, KCTCS won the 2016 Lexington Urban League’s Corporate Champion of Diversity Award.