DEAR MR. SMITH:
We (The Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce) received your letter dated July 17, 2018 “suspending” the Agreement. While the Chamber is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the County, we are disappointed with both the suspension and the manner in which the suspension arose.
The Chamber was approached around January of 2018 regarding the results of Bexar County’s UTSA AABE study. The study demonstrated rather clearly that, despite existing programs in the County, African-American Business Enterprises (“AABE”) accounted for merely 3.8% of all firms in the Bexar County- San Antonio Metropolitan Area. The study further identified that these businesses faced barriers to contracting and advancement that could be ameliorated with management assistance and training. Despite the desire and stated commitment to alleviate this problem and prior initiatives regarding the same from numerous parties (and even the County’s own DBE department), the community continued to experience a gap in the availability and capacity of African-American Business Enterprises.
Founded in 1938, the Chamber is the third oldest black chamber of commerce in the United States. The Chamber has a diverse mix of board members and relationships with other, similarly aligned organizations. The Chamber is thus a natural partner for matters affecting the black business community in the Bexar County- San Antonio Metropolitan Area.
After being approached to propose a resolution to the issues identified in the UTSA AABE Study, the Chamber spent months developing a proposal for a program that would train and equip both African American Business Enterprises and other underserved businesses in the County to bid on County contracts and ultimately succeed in becoming contracting partners with the County. The first contract/grant proposal was presented to the County on or about January 4, 2018. Between January 2018 and March 2018, the County’s staff and the Chamber closely collaborated, and the Chamber received feedback on requested adjustments and capacity building that the County sought in order for the Chamber to be a grant recipient.
The full Commissioner’s Court fielded multiple responses from the Chamber and others regarding the proposal, and ultimately voted unanimously in favor of approving the proposed program.
The Chamber and Black Contractor’s Association then made a public presentation and request for approval of the Chamber’s proposal (and the Agreement) to the full Bexar County Commissioner’s Court on March 13, 2018 along with a proposed budget. Program goals and solutions were presented in detail, including proposed partnerships, performance measurement, and the Chamber’s capacity for goal achievement. The Chair of the County’s SWMBE Advisory Committee, Chris Forbrich, and Renee Watson, the County’s SWMBE manager, were in attendance (Ms. Watson made a presentation regarding AABE’s immediately prior to the Chamber’s presentation). Frank Dunn and Margaret Wilson-Anaglia, members of the County’ SWMBE Advisory Committee, were also in attendance. Joe Linson, another member of the SWMBE Advisory Committee, voiced his support for the Chamber’s proposal during the Chamber’s presentation commenting that “this has been vetted.” Commissioner Kevin Wolff asked various questions about the program’s reach and performance metrics, which the Chamber addressed, including multiple clarifications that the reach of the program was not limited to AABEs. Commissioner Tommy Calvert highlighted the program’s ongoing reporting requirements. Commissioner Paul Elizondo commented on the goal of developing local businesses within the Bexar County metro area to help fill the gap in such a manner that programs like the Chamber’s proposal became unnecessary. The full Commissioner’s Court fielded multiple responses from the Chamber and others regarding the proposal, and ultimately voted unanimously in favor of approving the proposed program. Video of the presentation is available on the County’s website.
Microsoft to Partner With Huge HBCU Hiring Event For Software and IT Professionals
Nationwide — HBCU Connect and Microsoft have partnered to offer an amazing opportunity to software engineering professionals. On February 13th, the two companies will host a special Recruitment and Networking Reception in Dallas, Texas for HBCU grads turned tech professionals interested in working for Microsoft.
At the event, participants will learn more about Microsoft and converse with Microsoft recruiters and hiring managers with the unique opportunity for candidates to land next day interviews on the 14th followed by same day job offers!
Event Date: Thursday, February 13th, 2020 – with next day interviews and offers on the 14th
Event Time: 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Event Location: Dallas, Texas – Exact location provided with confirmed registration
Microsoft has hundreds of openings for software engineers and technical program managers, so whether you are a coder or have progressed into program management with a background in software engineering, you really need to make it to this event! Microsoft offers a great work atmosphere, great pay and benefits, crazy room for advancement, and a progressive work environment.
The team behind the event is Microsoft “COSINE”, which stands for Core Operating System and Intelligent Edge technology. As a part of the Microsoft Cloud + AI division, the COSINE organization delivers technologies and solutions that establish the OS platform foundation across Microsoft’s everchanging product lines.
The COSINE organization within Microsoft would like to hire as many Software Engineers and Technical Program Managers as possible from the HBCU Connect hiring event. So, if you have experience developing code in C++, Java, C# or other modern programming languages, or you used to write code but now have years of experience as a program manager, you should register to attend this event.
While most of the opportunities will be at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, WA, Microsoft offers a very competitive salary and relocation package for potential employees. Microsoft also has a thriving community of Black professionals, many of which are part of their long-standing employee resource group called Blacks at Microsoft (BAM).
This is a very unique opportunity for software professionals to get their foot in the door at Microsoft.
How to register:
Space is limited! Submit your resume and contact information at www.hbcuconnect.com/resumes or email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Companies interested in discussing the execution of similar events, and/or leveraging HBCU Connect in support of their diversity hiring strategies, should contact us at email@example.com.
For individuals interested in attending future events hosted by HBCU Connect, register at www.hbcuconnect.com/resumes.
Leader In Fostering Diversity
TV ONE NAMED AMONG TOP COMPANIES FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR BY COUNTRY’S LEADING ORGANIZATION FOR DIVERSITY IN THE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY
TV One was recently named one of the Top Companies of 2019 for People of Color by the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), the premiere organization focusing on cultural diversity, equity and inclusions in the communications industry. As announced by NAMIC, TV One was among the top five programmers and is recognized as a leader in fostering diversity and inclusion in the cable and communications industry. The findings were gleaned from the 2019 NAMIC AIM Report which ranked the top five operators and top five programmers. “It is an honor for TV One to be recognized by NAMIC as a leading company for diversity,” said TV One General Manager Michelle Rice. “We strongly believe diversity and inclusion are key business imperatives that cultivate a positive work environment for our employees to thrive. We will continue to invest and employ programs and strategies to retain and recruit both a dynamic and diverse workforce.”
Other top programmers ranked by NAMIC include AMC Networks, CBS Corporation, NBCUniversal and Revolt Media & TV; top operators include Altice USA, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications and Mediacom Communications Corporation.
“Building a diverse talent pool not only is the right thing to do, but also is essential for driving bottom-line results,” said NAMIC President and CEO A. Shuanise Washington. “These 10 companies are leading the way in adopting successful diversity and inclusion strategies that ensure we embrace differences and more accurately reflect the representation of our industry stakeholders as well as today’s workforce.”
Funded by the Walter Kaitz Foundation and conducted by Mercer, the survey captured organizational workforce demographics, diversity practices, non-traditional employee benefits, and other indicators of corporate commitment to diversity and inclusion. The survey also gathered information that enabled the creation of industry-wide Internal Labor Market (ILM) maps showing the workforce dynamics – hires, promotions, and exits – of people of color in the industry. Data is being used to determine the steps the industry needs to take over the next five years to recruit and retain diverse talent.
Twenty-one organizations participated in the survey, which represents an estimated 75.5 percent of the cable and communications industry’s workforce.
The full report is available at http://namic.com.