The Power of Engagement: New FCA US Supplier Diversity Initiative Strengthens Ties...

The Power of Engagement: New FCA US Supplier Diversity Initiative Strengthens Ties With Minority Business Associations

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FCA US LLC supplier diversity launched a new initiative on Feb. 20 aimed at connecting its purchasing organization with minority, women and veteran business associations by providing customized training, learning and development, and networking opportunities. Pictured here, Dr. Ken Harris, President and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, welcomes 50 certified African-American business owners to the Inaugural Black Supplier Engagement Forum held at FCA US headquarters in Michigan.

FCA US LLC supplier diversity kicks off 2017 with a new initiative aimed at connecting its purchasing organization with minority, women and veteran business associations by providing customized training, learning and development, and networking opportunities.

The program came to life on Monday, Feb. 20 during the inaugural Black Supplier Engagement Forum at FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The event brought in more than 50 certified African-American business owners from the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce for a half-day program with sessions led by representatives from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Plunkett and Cooney. Topics included succession planning and access to capital. The event was conducted as part of the Company’s celebration of Black History Month.

“Today’s forum is just the beginning of a new initiative in the supplier diversity group where we want to create more customized opportunities to interact with minority-owned businesses to promote growth and collaboration,” said Scott Thiele, Chief Purchasing Officer – FCA Global. “The more we can get one-on-one with diverse companies, who can bring new ideas to the table, the better our businesses will be in the long term.”

In 2016, FCA US spent nearly $3 billion with approximately 230 minority-, women- and veteran-owned suppliers, representing over 8 percent of the Company’s total annual purchasing. Since 1983, the Company has purchased nearly $58 billion from diverse suppliers. FCA US supplier diversity goals require that up to 11.5 percent of a tier-one supplier’s buy be sourced to certified minority and women suppliers.

“Strategic programs that provide access to more than 106,000 African-American businesses in Michigan, with development opportunities tied to a major automotive industry player, are an excellent way to help build up the state and region’s economy,” said Dr. Ken L. Harris, President and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. “This is just the beginning of what the black business community envisions as a long-term partnership with FCA US, where we can match our member businesses, which demonstrate capacity, scope and scale with their purchasing needs, to create a mutually beneficial relationship that encourages value incentives in the entrepreneurial landscape.”

FCA US will pursue similar supplier diversity programs targeting the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, the National Veteran Business Development Council, the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other minority business groups.

Last year, FCA US was honored with leading industry awards, including:

  • Corporation of the Year from The Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC)
  • Corporation of the Year for its tier-two Diversity Program from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • Top Corporation by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Corporation of the Year for 2016 from Great Lakes Women’s Business Council

The Company’s annual MatchMaker trade show has generated more than $2.5 billion in new business opportunities for minority-, women- and veteran-owned suppliers since 2000.

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