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100 of the largest employers in the Philadelphia region will be participating in the Diverse Procurement Collaborative.

Credit: Sukhmani Kaur

Penn has joined other regional employers to form a coalition to address racial inequality in the Philadelphia economy.

The Diverse Procurement Collaborative was launched by the Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Participating companies have pledged to increase the diversity of their business contracts by participating in two years of sharing best practices and resources, WHYY reported.

Alongside Penn, the collaborative includes 100 of the region’s largest employers such as Wawa, Drexel University, and Comcast. 

“The Chamber believes that we can’t truly create a strong, equitable economic recovery without a commitment to those Black and brown businesses,” Chamber Board Chair Susan Jacobson said during a press conference on Tuesday morning.

In addition to sharing resources to increase supplier diversity, all companies will perform baseline assessments to help determine goals and monitor each company’s progress, WHYY reported.

The collaborative is part of the Chamber’s Recharge & Recover PHL initiative, a public-private collaboration which attempts to implement solutions for crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This announcement comes almost a month after the launch of “Ready, Set. Philly!”, a partnership between the Chamber and the City of Philadelphia to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic, and more than a year after Penn pledged $4 million to support Penn employees, contract workers, and community organizations facing financial challenges during the pandemic. 

The first of six meetings for the collaborative will be held on June 22.