Johns Hopkins has been recognized by the Greater Baltimore Committee for making outstanding contributions to the growth and expansion of the minority business community in the region. GBC chose Johns Hopkins to receive the President's Award—one of eight Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards presented this year—because of the HopkinsLocal program the university and health system launched in September to create more economic opportunities in Baltimore.
As part of HopkinsLocal, the Johns Hopkins Facilities and Real Estate Office has outlined goals and strategies to increase participation of local businesses; certified Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and city residents in design, consultant, and construction opportunities. Procurement staff members are reaching out to local and minority-owned businesses to build new relationships and are working to meet new goals for spending in the city. The university and health system are also leveraging their contracts with vendors outside Baltimore to outline how those companies will hire, procure, or invest in Baltimore.
HopkinsLocal also has a hiring component to increase the number of new employees from targeted Baltimore neighborhoods. Details about all the program's goals are on the HopkinsLocal website.
The awards were presented Nov. 12 during ceremonies honoring minority- and women-owned firms for business achievement and recognizing other organizations for their efforts to strengthen minority business development. The Greater Baltimore Committee, an organization of business and civic leaders, supports that development through its Bridging the Gap initiative.
"Minority- and women-owned businesses are an integral part of our national, state, and local economy," Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the GBC, said in remarks before the awards ceremony. "Our regional economy operates much like a car engine. If all of the cylinders of that car are not working, the car starts and stops and sputters along."
The award was accepted on Johns Hopkins' behalf by Brian Smith, chief procurement officer for the university, and Kenneth Grant, vice president of supply chain management for the health system.