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Stellantis, National Business League Launch Black Supplier Development Pilot

 

 

Crain’s Detroit Business
Kurt Nagel

Stellantis and the National Business League have started a supplier development program intended to boost 13 Black-owned businesses initially and 3 million in the long term.

The pilot of the National Black Supplier Development Program, announced in the spring, commenced Wednesday and will run through the first quarter of 2022, the automaker said in a news release.

The first round of businesses includes seven based in the Detroit area and companies with a range of backgrounds, from those launched by local entrepreneurs, such as Detroit-based Ace Petroleum, to enterprises with considerable name recognition, such as former Pistons “Bad Boy” Isiah Thomas’ Isiah International, based in Chicago.

The program aims to help Black-owned suppliers refine procurement strategies to land future contracts “in pursuit of greater racial equity in the marketplace,” the release said.

“The Stellantis-National Business League Black Supplier Development Program is an idea whose time has come,” Mark Stewart, COO of Auburn Hills-based Stellantis North America, said in the release.

Stewart announced the pilot launch Wednesday during a kick-off event at the company’s Conner Avenue assembly plant in Detroit.

“An idea that addresses the need to take direct, decisive and intentional action to bring economic opportunity to communities that have been denied equal access to the marketplace for far too long,” Stewart said. “To confirm, in a very intentional way, that our ability to realize the full promise of our country is to ensure that its economic systems are open to all, equally.”

As part of the program, Stellantis will lead the creation of a virtual training and development portal over the next three years, Automotive News reported in June. It will provide access to capital, mentorship, executive coaching, supplier training and development, bid posting, match-making, supply chain solutions and talent placement and acquisition.

Officials say they are viewing the pilot as the beginning of a program that will eventually help more than 2.9 million Black-owned companies around the country and world to win business with the federal government, as well as public and private sectors.

“As national trade associations pivot toward a post-COVID-19 economy, the National Business League is launching this critical program to achieve economic equity and justice for Black communities and millions of Black businesses, fulfilling the organization’s 121-year-old legacy, founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900,” Kenneth Harris, president and CEO of the National Business League, said in the release. “It is vital that corporate leaders take decisive and measurable steps outside of empty promises and platitudes to bring about commerce-driven activity in Black communities that have been historically denied access to economic opportunities for far too long.”

Companies selected for the pilot program are:

  • Ace Petroleum, based in Detroit
  • Coltrane Logistics & Trucking, based in Wixom
  • Devon Industrial Group, based in Detroit
  • Dunamis Clean Energy Partners LLC, based in Detroit
  • GS3 Global, based in Livonia
  • Multi-Training Systems, based in Southfield
  • Ryan Industries Inc., based in Wixom
  • Simontic Composite Inc., based in Greensboro
  • TEN35, based in Chicago
  • TKT & Associates Inc., based in Louisville
  • Assured Quality Systems, based in Dallas
  • Isiah International and One World Pharma, based in Chicago
  • Russell Westbrook Enterprises, based in Los Angeles

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