CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA -The Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals (VASCUPP) announced today that its membership spent $616.4 million with small, women- and minority-owned (SWaM) firms in the fiscal year ending June 30. This represents a growth of more than 205 percent over the $201.9 million spent by the organization in fiscal year 2005.
Spending with women-owned firms) grew from $24.8 to $98.2 million. Minority-owned firms were paid $67.3 million by the member universities in fiscal year 2010 – a growth of 291 percent over fiscal year 2005’s total ($17.2 million). With $290.8 million in sales to VASCUPP members over the five-year period, the final category of diverse vendors, small businesses, recorded sales growth of 182 percent (from $159.9 million).
“The member institutions of VASCUPP have individually committed to increasing opportunities for those businesses certified with the commonwealth as small, woman-owned or minority-owned businesses," said Mary Helmick, director of procurement services at James Madison University and president of VASCUPP. "Jointly, we have and will continue to collaborate on best practices that yield excellent results. I believe an overall 205 percent increase since 2005 proves what VASCUPP has been doing has worked. The VASCUPP institutions and the VASCUPP organization as a whole are continuously looking for strategies that keep the forward momentum.”
The organization’s Supplier Diversity Committee is using its major outreach event, SWaMFest, to share the news of its accomplishments with the diverse supplier community, the majority vendors that support them, and officials of the Commonwealth of Virginia. SWaMFest VI, Celebrating the Success, will be held Oct. 12 and 13 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel and Spa at Short Pump.
Bill Cooper, director of supplier diversity at the University of Virginia and chair of VASCUPP’s Supplier Diversity Committee, said SWaMFest has earned the reputation of being one of the most innovative events of its kind in the state and beyond. “Because we believe that success is where preparation and opportunity meet, our approach to supplier diversity places equal emphasis on networking and development,” he said.
The Virginia Association of State College and University Purchasing Professionals’ primary purpose is to recognize and use effectively the common procurement principles, knowledge, experience, challenges, support and resources of decentralized higher education member institutions. Founded in 1992, the group’s nine members are George Mason University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech and the College of William and Mary. For information visit the VASCUPP website.