AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of its commitment to supplier diversity and women-owned businesses, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) has been presented with the 2021 "Regional Council Member Done Deals" award by the Women's Business Enterprise Center – East (WBEC-East). The selection honors FirstEnergy for having the largest spend with the highest number of women-owned businesses certified by the WBEC-East over the past 12 months.
FirstEnergy's Supplier Diversity Program provides opportunities in a competitive environment to small, woman-owned; minority-owned; HUBZone; veteran-owned; and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. It serves as just one part of the company's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, a FirstEnergy core value.
In 2020, FirstEnergy spent $482 million with diverse suppliers, or about 16% of the company's total supplier expenditures. Of that, $54.8 million was spent with women-owned businesses certified by WBEC-East.
"Building a diverse supplier base is key to delivering value to our customers and strengthening the economic health of communities across our service area," said Rich Sweeney, vice president of Supply Chain at FirstEnergy. "We are proud to receive this recognition from the WBEC – East, a tremendous ally for women business leaders that promotes innovation, opens doors and creates partnerships that fuel the economy."
As part of its efforts to be a corporate leader in making diverse suppliers a natural part of its business environment, FirstEnergy is committed to achieving 20% of supply chain spend with diverse suppliers by 2025. To support this goal, the company sponsors and attends trade fairs and conferences that focus on small, diverse businesses and leads initiatives by participating with organizations such as WBEC-East.
The award is the latest recognition of FirstEnergy's leading diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity programs. Named as a Best Employer for Diversity in 2020 by Forbes magazine and to DiversityInc's Top Utilities List three years running, FirstEnergy has also been honored by U.S. Veterans Magazine as the Top Supplier Diversity Program (2019) and received six awards in the past 10 years from the Commission on Economic Inclusion, which recognizes board, senior management, workforce and supplier diversity.
As advocates for women business owners, WBEC-East offers training and education for entrepreneurs, and provides certification for businesses across Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey. FirstEnergy serves as a Corporate Member on WBEC-East's Supplier Diversity Council.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.