Procurement Department

Supplier Diversity

In complete alignment with diversity initiatives across its campus and the commonwealth, Virginia Tech is committed to the establishment, preservation, and strengthening of small, women-owned, and minority-owned (SWAM) businesses. The university’s purchasing staff strives to employ well developed business processes that provide training, information, and an established framework for conducting procurement to those who engage in delegated small-purchasing. We seek to work with and communicate to the delegated purchasing community on a continuing basis to emphasize the importance of diversity in procurement.
For higher valued procurements and term contacts, Virginia Tech employs a highly trained and professional buying staff. These individuals understand and are committed to procurement diversity as one of the fundamentals of their profession.
To assist buyers and persons making delegated small-dollar purchases, Virginia Tech has developed a repository of minority-owned and women-owned businesses (see Frequently Used Minority and Women Vendors List). Purchasers also make frequent use of the SWAM supplier database as provided by the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (SBSD). The buying staff actively solicits bids, quotes and RFP’s from vendors that have been SWAM certified by the SBSD.  You may access the SWAM database at http://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/.  For questions concerning SWAM, you may also reach a SBSD representative at 800-223-0671 (Virginia only) or 804-786-5560.
The university has implemented a SWAM subcontracting plan template that identifies specific goals for prime contractor achievement in carrying out the provisions of new contracts.  Prime contractors and Construction Managers are required to submit their plan for the utilization of SWAM subcontractors as part of their bid of proposal. Contractors are required to submit periodic reports detailing expenditures with SWAM subcontractors.
What is a small business?
A business concern employing not more than 250 individuals or no more than $10 million in gross receipts averaged over a 3 year period. SBSD certified women-owned and minority-owned businesses shall also be considered small business when they have received SBSD small business certification.
What is a woman-owned business?
A business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more women who are U. S. citizens or legal resident aliens, or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest is owned by one or more women who are citizens of the United States or non-citizens who are in full compliance with the United States immigration law, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more women who are U. S. citizens or legal resident aliens.
What is a minority-owned business?
A business concern that is at least 51% owned by one or more minority individuals or in the case of a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity, at least 51% of the equity ownership interest in the corporation, partnership, or limited liability company or other entity is owned by one or more minority individuals and both of the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more minority individuals.
I make small purchases for my department. What can I do to help?
In order to reach the goals for SWAM  participation as set by the commonwealth and to create a more inclusive vendor community, those individuals making delegated small purchases must fully embrace the SWAM initiatives. By force of habit, many departmental buyers tend to patronize the same vendors over and over again, without first verifying the availability of SWAM vendors.  Please remember to:

  • Make use of established term contracts with women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
  • Be aware of woman-owned and minority-owned businesses and consider directing department-level purchases under $2,000 to those vendors.  When searching for goods or services in HokieMart, look for the SBE, WBE, or MBE icon next to the vendor name.
  • Share information about new woman-owned and minority-owned sources.

I’m a SWAM vendor and would like to do business with the university. What are the next steps?

What if I still need assistance?

  • Contact Kathey Porter, Assistant Director for Supplier Diversity, at (540) 231-3333 or porterk1@vt.edu.

More Information

Last Updated: August 13, 2014