Rendell Issued Executive Order Reflecting Strategies for Boosting Women and Minority-Owned Business Opportunities

Harrisburg – Governor Edward G. Rendell yesterday signed a revised executive order on minority- and women-owned business opportunities to reflect the strategies that have successfully increased disadvantaged business participation in state government contracting by nearly 600 percent since 2004.

“As we commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we must recognize the importance of expanding economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians,” Governor Rendell said. “We have proven that it is possible to help women- and minority-owned businesses thrive while increasing competition and getting the best deal for taxpayers, and I believe our policies and our progress can be a national model.”

When Governor Rendell took office, only 2 percent of state government’s purchases of supplies, services and construction involved disadvantaged businesses. By 2009, minority- and women-owned businesses successfully competed for nearly 14 percent of state government purchasing, according to a report by the Department of General Services that was transmitted to legislators earlier this month.

Governor Rendell issued his initial executive order on minority- and women-owned business opportunities in 2004. In October 2009, the Governor issued an executive order to specifically encourage small, disadvantaged businesses to participate in federal Recovery Act-funded projects.

Pennsylvania was recognized in 2008 as having one of the nation’s top three disadvantaged-business programs. The revised executive order signed today reflects many of the program’s successful strategies to expand outreach, certify additional disadvantaged businesses, improve contracting transparency and explicitly recognize professional services.

All of the changes reflect existing practices that are already in place across state government but were not specified in the 2004 executive order.

Text of the Governor’s executive order is available at the following link: Click here

The Department of General Services’ 2009 annual report on minority- and women-owned business participation is available online at: Click here

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