National Grid, CVS to sponsor RWU program for diverse businesses

National Grid and CVS Caremark Corp. have partnered with Roger Williams University to announce a sponsorship for select minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses to participate in an RWU program to assist them in soliciting business. More

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National Grid, CVS to sponsor RWU program for diverse businesses

NATIONAL GRID and CVS Caremark Corp. will sponsor owners of local diverse businesses to attend a Roger Williams University program designed to help minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses better position themselves to win contracts.
Posted 4/9/14

PROVIDENCE – National Grid and CVS Caremark Corp. have partnered with Roger Williams University to announce a sponsorship for select minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses to participate in an RWU program to assist them in soliciting business.

The program, designed by the Professional Education Center at the RWU School of Continuing Studies, will focus on a two-part curriculum module entitled “CEO Master Series” and aims to teach skills and knowledge that will help diverse businesses better position themselves to win contracts.

“Education is a key factor in creating opportunities for job growth, career development and economic expansion,” said Peter Wilbur, vice president for university outreach and engagement at RWU. “The ability to customize our academic expertise in continuing studies in a way that supports the development of a diverse pool of business leaders illustrates our commitment to impacting quality of life in our own community.”

The CEO Master Series will focus on essential skills that position executives for success and comprise two modules: “Maximizing Employee Performance and Learning the Secrets to Submit a Successful Proposal,” which will include sessions on purchasing and contracts, team building and performance management; and “Critical Development Areas to be Competitive,” which will include sessions on sustainability training, safety plans, HIPPA requirements and social media marketing.

National Grid and CVS Caremark will sponsor candidates – all of whom will be potential vendors in the supply chains for National Grid or CVS who run diverse businesses – to participate in the RWU program, which will launch its inaugural session late this spring through a blend of in-class and online learning.

“It’s not enough to simply provide off-the-shelf information and training, given that companies in the same industries often have different needs,” said School of Continuing Studies Dean Jamie Scurry in an April 11 release by RWU. “It is critical that investments in professional development are customized and contextualized to ensure that students gain useable, practical skills that add value to the organization – that all participants leave with a ‘toolbox’ that improves performance, aids in problem solving and ensures that they are prepared to immediately effect change.”

The CEO Master Series was announced during the “Power of Connections” networking event hosted by National Grid Rhode Island and CVS Caremark on Friday, April 11, for more than 200 representatives of local minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses.

The event was designed to help expand the number of business opportunities for local diverse businesses by giving them access to the buying and senior leadership teams at National Grid and CVS Caremark, prime contractors and procurement teams, and organizations that specialize in certifying and developing diverse businesses.

“National Grid believes in the power and benefits of doing business with a diverse network of suppliers,” said Timothy F. Horan, president of National Grid Rhode Island, in prepared remarks. “Not only does our company continuously look for opportunities to support local economic growth, like our Power of Connections event, but the relationships we are continuing to develop with so many diverse businesses are invaluable.”

National Grid currently partners with 2,500 businesses owned by members of racial minority groups, women and veterans, and generates more than $700 million in revenue for those companies annually, the utility said in a release.

In addition to providing networking opportunities, the event also featured one-on-one “matchmaking” sessions; workshops on how to do business with National Grid, CVS Caremark and other top regional suppliers; training sessions related to diversity certification; and keynote lectures by National Grid and CVS Caremark executives.

“Power of Connections” was part of a series of events held previously by National Grid in its Massachusetts and New York service territories. National Grid and CVS Caremark hosted the Rhode Island event in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Greater Providence and Northern Rhode Island Chambers of Commerce, the R.I. Division of Administration, the Center for Women & Enterprise, the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center Boston, the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council and the Massachusetts Office of Supplier Diversity.

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