Race Bias #23 - "Finding Minority Suppliers"
A vast effort is underway in corporate America to prefer minority owned business in contracting. This practice is compelled by minority "set asides" in state and federal contracts. However, the practice is pursued as well by many businesses not under government compulsion.
The practice is so entrenched that a supporting industry has grown up around supplying large American corporations with information and contacts to minority business. The article quoted below is but one example.
These aren't preferences for $7 an hour jobs. We are talking about real money here!
BUSINESS & RACE
By Leon E. Wynter
09/21/93 WALL STREET JOURNAL (J), PAGE B1
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Supplying a Minority Or Female Supplier
NEED a minority or female supplier fast? Thomas Publishing, a 95-year-old New York company that puts out reference books used by manufacturers, recently started a service to connect manufacturers with such suppliers.
Many government and corporate programs require manufacturers to use minority and women-owned suppliers. Users of Thomas's service can search by telephone keypad through 3,500 product categories and receive information on suppliers within an hour, by fax.
Thomas lists 10,000 suppliers so far and has started signing up subscribers, at $390 a year. Suppliers are listed free of charge, with self-reported information as to their certifications as non-white-male-owned firms by government and private agencies. About two-thirds of the suppliers in the database have no proof of certification, however, because many companies ignore getting such approvals.
This worries Harriet Michel, executive director of the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the largest private certification group, because bogus "minority" suppliers may mislead subscribers, at certified firms' expense. * * *
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