July 18, 2001
ROSEMEAD, Calif., July 18, 2001-A coalition of organizations led by the Greenlining Institute, a leading multi-ethnic, public policy center based in San Francisco, has identified Southern California Edison as having one of the most successful supplier diversity programs in America.
In a report entitled "Report Card-California Utility Minority Contract Achievements: The Best in the Nation," the institute noted SCE awarded almost 25% of its supplier contracts to minority-owned businesses.
The typical Fortune 1,000 corporation, according to the report, spends less than 3% of its budget for outside contracts on minority firms, and few spend more than 5%.
SCE was awarded an "A" in the report. The high grade was only the latest recognition SCE has received for either its diversity efforts in doing business or in meeting the needs of a diverse work force.
Last month, Fortune magazine ranked SCE as the fourth best company in America for minorities to work at. Moreover, it was the fourth straight year Fortune named SCE as one of America's "50 best companies for minorities."
Earlier this year, SCE was named one of the top companies in America in terms of diversity, according to NEXT STEP magazine. In 2000, for the second straight year, LATINA Style magazine named SCE one of the "50 best companies for Latinas to work for in the U.S." And in 1999, A. Magazine recognized SCE for providing one of "the best work environments for Asian Americans," and named the utility as one of the nation's top five Fortune 500 companies for Asian Americans.
"Our supplier diversity efforts are not just a matter of wanting to "do the right thing,'" said Frank Quevedo, vice president for equal opportunity at SCE. "Our diversity efforts just make good business sense. The number of female-owned and minority-owned businesses is increasing all the time. Their success is good for the region, and what's good for the region is good for Edison."
Said John Gamboa, director of the Greenlining Institute: "The report card demonstrates that Edison and the other major utilities [regulated by] the California Public Utilities Commission award five-to-seven-times more contracts to minority-owned businesses than do their counterparts in corporate America."
Corporations that set minority procurement goals supported by top management can achieve substantial progress in narrowing the opportunity gap between minority-and white-owned businesses, the report said.
As a result of these voluntary procurement goals, more than $1 billion in contracts were awarded by California's eight largest utilities to small minority businesses in the year 2000, Gamboa added.
The report strongly urged California Gov. Gray Davis and state regulators to continue supporting the voluntary program.
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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.