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Economic Inclusion Network



Engaging Locally! Located in West Philadelphia, Penn operates among a richly diverse business community. The University works closely with area suppliers and stakeholders to encourage local business growth; empower diversity and women business owners; and provide women and minorities with greater access to the skilled and higher-paying trades.

Economic Inclusion Plenary Committee

The Economic Inclusion Plenary Committee exists to provide oversight and strategy to the University in formulating and managing its Economic Inclusion initiative. Three subcommittees of the committee meet to review and monitor progress made in procurement, construction and workforce development, and report to the full Plenary Committee on a quarterly basis. There have been measurable benefits to the neighborhood, city and region resulting from these initiatives.

In Procurement Services, results have been driven by a number of targeted Procurement Services initiatives designed to expand business and economic opportunities available to those who live, work and own businesses in the local community. Annually, Penn spends over more than $100 million in products and services from local (West and Southwest Philadelphia) businesses. Of this local spend amount, nearly $30 million, was sourced from diversity owned suppliers. Among all addressable procurement spend, Penn's purchases with diverse suppliers totaled over $100 million.  Procurement Services continues to work with diversity suppliers in extending special payment terms while offering monthly open house information sessions to assist new, diverse businesses in navigating Penn's systems and structure.  Over 20% of Penn's acitive suppliers are diversity-owned.

In Facilities & Real Estate Services, local residents have filled more than half of the jobs created by Penn's retail ventures. Approximately 35% of all Penn construction jobs have gone to minority and women workers, and 26% of all contracts have been awarded to minority and women owned businesses. Recently, Penn in cooperation with the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council, created the Lucien E. Blackwell Apprenticeship Program to provide skills training opportunities to residents from West and Southwest Philadelphia.

In Human Resources, work continues on a number of initiatives to increase diversity in the workforce by increasing access to available administrative and faculty positions.

Procurement Initiatives

Procurement Services supports Penn's commitment to economic inclusion by engaging diversity owned and local community based suppliers in the procurement process at Penn. With support from senior management, community and political leaders, Procurement Services has leveraged the University's buying power, its knowledge assets, resources, and commitment to socially responsible purchasing to provide business opportunities for local community based suppliers and job growth among neighborhood residents. Procurement Services has succeeded in promoting economic inclusion while meeting its mission to provide best-in-class buying methods and best price supplier business relationships.

Procurement Services collaborates with a number of internal and external partners to advance opportunities with local and diversity suppliers through idea generation, ongoing information sharing, and networking.  This engagement is vital to the mutual success of Penn and the organizations listed below:

-          African American Chamber of Commerce of PA-NJ-DE

-          Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia

-          City of Philadelphia's Office of Economic Opportunity

-          Economy League of Greater Philadelphia

-          Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

-          Independence Business Alliance

-          Netter Center for Community Partnerships

-          The Enterprise Center

-          University City District

-          West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative