Weather for the Following Location: Chattanooga on Map

Chattanooga’s EPB Promotes Diversity in Contractors and Suppliers

Diverse contractor team meeting.

Chattanooga’s EPB Pushes for Diverse Contractors and Suppliers

Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board (EPB) is making a significant push for diversity in its contracting and supplier network. The utility company’s initiative is aimed at connecting with and reaping advantages from the vast and diverse pool of talent within the metropolitan community.

Boosting Women and Minority-Owned Businesses

In a recent public statement, Chandra Chambers, the co-founder of the Chambers Welding and Fabrication Corp., endorsed EPB’s diversity drive. The city-owned utility is fostering relationships with a growing number of women and minority-owned suppliers and contractors. Chambers, an active advocate for diversity of both gender and race within the welding industry, has grown the Chambers Welding and Fabrication Corp., to include 26 employees providing both professional and recreational training opportunities since starting the business nine years ago.

“We are striving to promote diversity within our welding school, and it is exciting to witness our business growth as we begin doing more work with EPB,” Chambers stated.

The Impact on the Local Economy

Over the past six years, an annual average investment of $7 million by EPB into businesses owned by minorities and women has resulted in an estimated support of 103 jobs and created $63.3 million in economic benefits. This robust commitment has particularly contributed meaningfully to local women-owned and minority-owned businesses. A new study reports that these efforts have directly supported 95 businesses owned by women or ethnic minorities.

“EPB’s dedicated effort to involve women- and minority-owned businesses proves the organization’s commitment to uplifting the community it serves,” Candi Clouse, a Vice President at a consulting firm in North Carolina, stated. This was in recognition of the apparent success of EPB’s diversity supplier program.

EPB President’s Vision of Community Inclusion

At the inaugural EPB Supplier Diversity Day event held last week at the Chattanoogan Hotel, EPB’s president, David Wade, expressed the utility’s intention to incorporate and serve the entire community. According to Wade, economic inclusion is beneficial to the community. As such, the community-owned utility is eagerly seeking to diversify its supplier and contractor networks to ensure optimal service delivery and make use of the entire available local talent.

A Minority Contractor’s Experience

Mike Jones, the owner of Special Touch Landscape & Tree Service, a minority-owned contractor, shared his experience of working with EPB. “It was initially tough to secure these contracts,” explained Jones, “but over time, we’ve managed to expand our business with EPB and many others, proving our capabilities along the way.” Jones’s landscape business started cutting lawns in parks and doing work with the Chattanooga Housing Authority in 2006, growing to its current size of 14 employees doing business with EPB.

EPB’s continued dedication to diversify its suppliers and contractors creates an inclusive economic push within the community. The community-owned utility’s commitment to these collaboration efforts is aimed at improving the lives of community members it serves as well as creating more opportunities for women and minority business owners.


This news is brought to you by HERE News Network.

Author: HERE News

Leave a Reply

Sign up for our Newsletter