Speaker sessions focused on topics ranging from taking advantage of opportunities from infrastructure funding programs to gaining equitable access to resources and strengthening financial literacy. A panel discussion on navigating projects successfully with economic inclusion centered around two large infrastructure projects: the Kansas City Smart Sewer Program in Kansas City, Missouri, and Clean Water Shreveport in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“Our firm supports these business diversity programs so we can provide training and the opportunity for conversations and connections that will allow small and diverse companies to grow and thrive,” said Tammy Martin, Business Diversity Program Director at Burns & McDonnell. “This collaboration with Evergy and RGMA will support business development and help drive change within the industries we serve.”
Over the last five years, Burns & McDonnell has had a total business diversity spend of $2.2 billion and has worked with over 2,700 small and diverse businesses globally.
Burns & McDonnell and Evergy also recently recognized nearly 40 small and diverse businesses that graduated from Accelerate, a six-month supplier diversity business development program that launched in March.
“Our inaugural Accelerate program provided a valuable opportunity for mentorship, since each participant was partnered with a sponsor from Evergy or Burns & McDonnell,” said Valerie Coyazo, Lead Supplier Diversity Manager at Evergy. “Contributing to the success of our diverse suppliers is vital to us.”
Ralph Moore, President and Founder of RGMA, led the Accelerate training, which focused on helping participants develop skills to become more competitive in the construction industry, to increase the volume of work their firm is capable of winning in open competition, and to improve their firm’s financial strength and capacity.
“Redefining supplier diversity through training and development expands the pool of outstanding diverse suppliers that contribute to shareholder value for major corporations like Burns & McDonnell while contributing to healthy and stable communities,” Moore said.
Planning for next year’s EDP symposium and Accelerate program is already underway.