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MWRD outreach event seeks diverse vendors

Qualified business owners seeking to register as a potential vendor with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) learned more about the process at a MWRD-sponsored vendor outreach fair held at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Student Center East on May 18. Another vendor outreach event will be held at the University of Chicago Gleacher Center on Oct. 13.

More than 200 contractors, consultants, subcontractors and potential vendors met with MWRD officials and other firms to learn how to register as a vendor and secure work opportunities with the MWRD. The event’s goal is to expand and maximize business opportunities for local Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and Small Business Enterprises (SBE).

The vendor fair, entitled “Diversity Today, Success Tomorrow,” included presentations from MWRD executive staff and guest speakers who shared their success stories on becoming new vendors, experiencing work opportunity increases and how they made the transition from subcontractors to prime contractors. Speakers included: Anne Leslie, Raimonde Drilling, and Dr. “Shorty” Mills, Pagoda Electric, “Learning to do business with the District;” Keith Searles, Urban GIS, “Growth in revenue due to working with the District;” and David Rambhajan, Industria, “Growing from a subcontractor to a prime.”

This was the MWRD’s third vendor outreach fair in just over eight months, bringing together dozens of firms and government agencies to introduce firms to the various opportunities to grow their businesses and achieve goal attainment.

“The Chicago Urban League was pleased to participate in the vendor fair hosted by MWRD,” said Andrew Wells, Director of Workforce Development. “We were able to network with vendors and learn more about potential employment opportunities for the clients we serve and look forward to a continued partnership with MWRD as they seek to grow their workforce.”

“The District strives to provide a fair, inclusive and transparent process that promotes diversity and excellence in the workplace as we pursue water quality improvements and prevent flooding in Cook County,” said MWRD Vice Presi­dent Barbara J. McGowan, chairman of the Affirmative Action Committee. “The vendor outreach fair allows firms exposure to the MWRD work process and gives them the tools for success.”

For more information regarding contract opportunities, visit www.- To register for the Oct. 13 vendor event, call 312-751-5717.

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