Supplier Diversity Program at INTREN
As a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), INTREN has always felt a moral obligation and business imperative to assist fellow Minority/Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) succeed in the construction industry. Our utility partners were also focused on increasing their diversity spend and requested that we continue to increase our Tier 2 spend. Secondly, they asked us to mentor select diverse subcontractors, so they could eventually become a prime supplier on the utility’s property.
With a strong commitment to develop diverse suppliers, INTREN set corporate goals for MWBE subcontractor spend and created a program that would fulfill it. Three key components, which are still practiced today, include:
- Operations Directors are evaluated on their MWBE Diversity Spend and it became a performance indicator on their monthly reports
- At every level, diverse companies are actively sought out and many come to us through referral
- Once selected, companies go through a rigorous screening, which includes the highest safety and quality standards before they become an ‘active’ contractor
As requested by our utility partners, INTREN began mentoring select subcontractors. INTREN worked side-by-side with these companies teaching them best practices until they were able to qualify as a prime utility contractor.
INTREN’s Supplier Diversity Program encourages the partnership of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBTQ-owned, service-disabled veteran owned, and SBA-defined small business vendors as suppliers in the economic activities of the company.
INTREN facilitated over $200 million in minority corporate spend between 2011–2018 and has 98 registered MWBE companies.
INTREN’s mentoring program added value by developing diverse contractors and delivering more contractor options for our major utility customers.
The INTREN mindset, the more you give the more you shall receive, has truly transformed the way business is done in the utility construction industry.
We are still recovering from the influence of our history, our experiences, our stories and our education. We have been taught in various ways, both consciously and unconsciously, that there are significant differences in values and value-propositions depending, in large part, on your race and gender. My life’s work is about unity and equality and bringing down the barriers that divide us.