Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced that it achieved the highest level of spend with diverse business enterprises in the history of the company, spending more than $673 million dollars with 583 diverse suppliers last year. The company exceeded the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) goal for contracting purchases with women, minority, service-disabled veteran, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender-owned businesses for the 26th consecutive year in 2018. More than 40 percent of the utility’s contract spending went to women, minority, service-disabled veteran and LGBT-owned companies, nearly double the CPUC’s goal of 21.5 percent.
“I’m proud that our activities and investments have not only made SoCalGas a leader in supplier diversity, but also contributed to a stronger local economy, job growth and an improved business climate,” said Bret Lane, chief executive officer for SoCalGas. “We have made significant investments in supplier diversity initiatives and provided technical assistance to help diverse firms grow and succeed.”
“The construction manager in Bakersfield introduced us to a manager in transmission, which helped expand our network,” says Hal Hays Construction chief executive officer Kirby Hays, whose father founded the company in 1991. “Other areas within SoCalGas also opened up since we forged a relationship with their Supplier Diversity department. We’ve met a lot of people and relationships blossomed rather quickly,” he adds, noting the work resulted in about a dozen new hires.
The Riverside-based, general and civil construction firm was awarded its first contract to build the utility’s new base in Bakersfield. This was followed by contracts to replace concrete at the Blythe compressor station, make infrastructure improvements through the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade program and build a compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station in Bakersfield.
While the Native American-owned firm with 200-plus employees was well established before its SoCalGas contracts, Hays says SoCalGas’ Supplier Diversity team was helpful in sharing the utility’s environmental and safety priorities and keeping them updated on the competitive bid process.
Spending included new major contracts with diverse suppliers for environmental services, mobile home park utility upgrade program, facilities and finance. In addition, 12 of the company’s 25 largest vendors are diverse suppliers.
SoCalGas also offers these large and small businesses innovative training programs, including supplier development and technical assistance, contractor safety workshops, seminars and other events.
SoCalGas’ commitment to diversity extends beyond its diverse suppliers to its workforce and the communities it serves as well. In 2018, SoCalGas invested more than $7.5 million to nearly 1,000 organizations across its service territory, benefiting in part underserved community groups in African American, Hispanic American, Asian Pacific American, and Native American communities. In addition, the company’s diverse workforce of more than 7,500 employees includes 68 percent people of color.
More information about SoCalGas’ commitment to supplier diversity can be found in the newly released 2018 Supplier Diversity Annual Report.
The CPUC’s Utility Supplier Diversity Program topped $10.5 billion in goods and services that utilities purchased from women, minority, disabled veterans and LGBT-owned business enterprises. For more information, read CPUC’s 2018 Annual Report or visit consumers.cpuc.ca.gov/supplierdiversity.
This article was released by SoCalGas.