On September 23, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed an Executive Order solidifying his commitment to improving the participation of minority-owned, women-owned, LGBT-owned, veteran-owned, and disabled-owned businesses in state government contracting.
According to the official press release, Executive Order 2015-11, entitled “Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities in State Contracting and Pennsylvania’s Economy,”
directs a consistent and coordinated effort to ensure diversity and inclusion in all contracting opportunities for small and diverse businesses throughout agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction and promotes the creation of programs to better prepare those businesses to compete and succeed in Pennsylvania’s economy.
The Exective Order creates a new Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities which will advise the Governor’s Office and executive agencies on ways to improve state contracting and grant opportunities; job creation initiatives; financing and bonding programs; and business assistance and professional development programs. The Council membership will include the Departments of General Services, Community & Economic Development, Transportation, and Labor & Industry, as well as key “stakeholders” in the small and diverse business contracting community.
The Executive Order requires DGS to rename its Bureau of Small Business Opportunities as the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities. The Executive Order also directs agency heads and all Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction to work cooperatively with the Council to ensure the success of its mission, and strongly encourages independent agencies, state-affiliated entities, and state-related institutions to work with the Council to adopt similar initiatives to support greater diversity, inclusion and small business opportunities in Commonwealth contracting.
The full Executive Order can be found here.