The New York State Chief Information Officer/Office for Technology (CIO/OFT), in collaboration with the Empire State Development Corporation's Division of Minority and Women Owned Business Development (DMWBD), on January 5, 2009, hosted a roundtable discussion with major IT vendors of New York State and state agency CIOs to share successes, strategies, future opportunities and challenges to meet minority and woman owned business enterprise (MWBE) goals for the technology sector. 

As one of the largest buyers of IT products and services in New York State government, CIO/OFT is committed to supporting Governor David A. Paterson's priority to raise MWBE participation levels.  To increase the use of MWBE firms for technology procurements, CIO/OFT and DMWBD have been working with the corporate technology sector, state agencies, and MWBE firms to build capacity and improve opportunities for New York's MWBE firms.

Since the first MWBE Technology Jumpstart Event held in June 2008, CIO/OFT received commitment from twenty-one of New York State's top IT vendors to establish corporate MWBE participation goals.  The 21 corporations that have voluntarily pledged to expand their use of MWBEs to 15 percent by 2009 and to 20 percent by 2010 include: Accenture, Avaya, BearingPoint, Computer Aid, CGI, Dell, Deloitte, Dunn and Bradstreet, EDS, Gateway, IBM, Intel, Johnson Controls, Microsoft, nFrastructure Technologies, Oracle, Qwest, Siemens, Tandberg, Unisys, and Xerox.

During her opening remarks, Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, New York State CIO and director of the Office for Technology stressed the importance of collectively working together to ensure MWBE priorities are met this year and beyond. 

"We are extremely encouraged by the support of the businesses who attended today's roundtable discussion.  The commitment these 21 corporations made to raise the level of woman and minority owned business participation to 20 percent by 2010 is a significant catalyst to promote supplier diversity throughout New York State," said Mayberry-Stewart.  "Today's meeting provided an open forum to discuss MWBE strategies and ascertain if we are on the right track to meet our MWBE goals and, if not, what we need to do to get there." 

"Small businesses create the majority of new jobs.  During these challenging economic times, we must look at new ways to create new opportunities.  Partnering with small, woman and minority owned businesses will allow us to further stimulate economic development and provide long-term prosperity for the citizens of New York State," said Michael Jones-Bey, executive director of the New York State Division of Minority and Women Business Development. "I am extremely pleased with the progress that we are making in our technology sector initiative.  We are seeing large tech sector firms create joint ventures and establish reseller agreements that will create unprecedented opportunities for MWBEs. This is a great example of how government can leverage partnerships with the private sector to serve the public good."

During the meeting, participants focused on strategies to address barriers to meet MWBE goals and made recommendations on ways to increase MWBE utilization rates.