Gov. Phil Murphy announces New Jersey will host NJ Connects, the first-ever state summit designed to connect minority-, women-, veteran-, and LGBTQ-owned businesses with roughly one billion dollars in public and private sector contracting opportunities.
The summit – taking place in Newark on September 20 – is designed to create a more robust and diverse state contracting supply chain by fostering opportunities for minority, women, veteran, and LGBTQ business enterprises (MWVBE).
“Our goal is to ensure that everyone who wants to do business, both with and within the great State of New Jersey, has the tools and support they need in order to succeed,” said Governor Murphy. “This summit will provide critical resources to connect diverse businesses with economic opportunities in order to further our goal of creating a stronger and fairer economy.”
The event is being spearheaded by the state’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). The office is overseen by Hester Agudosi, Esq., who was appointed Chief Diversity Officer by the Governor to support the administration’s efforts to drive economic growth through the creation of more inclusive hiring opportunities for the state’s diverse businesses.
“It’s important that diverse business owners have a seat at the table,” said Chief Diversity Officer Agudosi. “NJ Connects will provide a forum for business owners to showcase their products and services, while connecting them to key public and private sector procurement decision makers. Equally important, this annual event will provide a platform for procurement and purchasing leaders to introduce their organizations and specific project needs, while demonstrating their commitment to building a diverse contracting supply chain.”
NJ Connects will be held on Friday, September 20, at the Wellness and Events Center on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark. The event will feature learning sessions and panel discussions; business boot camps and “How To” workshops; public and private sector business exhibitors; and networking opportunities. More than 750 individuals are expected to attend with approximately 150 exhibitors from both the public and private sectors.
Minority, women, veteran, and LGBTQ business owners interested in working with the State of New Jersey and with New Jersey-based corporations that offer robust supplier diversity programs are encouraged to attend. Procurement and purchasing representatives from New Jersey-based corporations looking to introduce their organizations and opportunities to the MWVBE community are also encouraged to attend.
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