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NYPA and National Grid Sponsor First Joint Purchasing Exchange to Promote Jobs in Western NY For Minority- and  Women-Owned Businesses

Connie M. Cullen, NYPA

Courtney Quatrino, National Grid

October 9, 2009


LEWISTON—The first Upstate Purchasing Exchange for minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) to be jointly sponsored by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and National Grid, in conjunction with Empire State Development Corporation Division of Minority and Women Business Development, will be held in Buffalo on Tues., Oct. 20, at the Embassy Suites – Buffalo, 200 Delaware Ave., from 12 noon to 4 p.m. 

“As part of the New York Power Authority’s continuing efforts to promote economic development and create jobs in Upstate New York, for the first time we are partnering with National Grid, and have the support of Empire State Development Corporation, to sponsor an Upstate Purchasing Exchange to bring more opportunities to the region’s minority- and women- owned businesses,” said Richard M. Kessel, president and chief executive officer, NYPA.  “The Upstate Purchasing Exchange can result in a win-win situation with the potential for numerous contract opportunities for M/WBEs and expanded vendor pools for participating private corporations and public agencies.” 

“National Grid is committed to integrating inclusion and diversity into the very fabric of the company, including our purchase of goods and services,” said Tom King, president, National Grid U.S.  “In an effort to strengthen the business community and provide contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned firms in Western New York, we are happy to partner with NYPA and Empire State Development Corporation on the Upstate Purchasing Exchange.”  

“We are thrilled to help bring the M/WBE Purchasing Exchange to the Upstate Region. In the past the New York Power Authority conference has been one of the premiere M/WBE events for promoting M/WBE opportunities. We are especially happy to partner this year with National Grid,” said Michael Jones-Bey, director, Empire State Development Corporation Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development. “At this conference we will add a special emphasis on ‘Green Business Opportunities.’ This is an explosive sector in our economy and we want to make sure that M/WBEs have a chance to learn how to compete for these contracts.” 

Senator Antoine Thompson, Assemblyperson Crystal Peoples-Stokes and City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown have lent their support to the exchange. 

“I would like to thank NYPA, National Grid and Empire State Development Corporation Division of Minority and Women Business Development for holding the first joint Upstate Purchasing Exchange for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses,” stated Senator Antoine M. Thompson. “The Upstate Purchasing Exchange provides M/WBEs with an opportunity to meet with several companies and learn about a variety of initiatives.” 

“I am pleased to work in collaboration with NYPA, National Grid and Empire State Development Corporation on this purchasing opportunity for M/WBEs,” stated Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes.  “This partnership will enable M/WBEs to gain access into the new wave of energy and cutting edge technologies.  It is critical that corporations both public and private commit to doing business in our diverse society; the growth of our state and our communities depend on it.” 

“I commend the New York Power Authority and National Grid for coming together, along with the support of the ESDC, to sponsor the first joint Upstate Purchasing Exchange,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown. “NYPA’s President and CEO Richard Kessel has followed through on his commitment to get more involved in economic development and job creation in our city and region by bringing this first-ever event to Buffalo, which will provide greater business development opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses in our community. I encourage all eligible businesses to take advantage of this excellent opportunity.” 

The Upstate Purchasing Exchange enables M/WBEs to explore procurement opportunities with purchasing representatives from NYPA, National Grid, other utilities, public agencies and private corporations.  In addition to the variety of procurement opportunities, there will be a special emphasis on New York State stimulus opportunities, energy efficiency initiatives and green technologies.  More than 30 different companies and organizations are expected to send representatives to meet with the M/WBEs in attendance. 

Among the fields M/WBEs, who would like to attend the Upstate Purchasing Exchange, should specialize include professional services, construction-related goods or services, commodities, high technology goods or services, and green and energy efficient technologies.  M/WBEs interested in attending the exchange should review the invitation at  To attend, M/WBEs must complete the required registration form at

 Admission and registration are free.   For more information on the exchange, please call 914-681-6976 or 6453, or 516-545-4607, or email or  It is not necessary for M/WBEs to be certified by New York State to attend the exchange though representatives will be available to assist those interested in the certification process. 

The Power Authority’s supplier diversity program ensures that M/WBEs actively and successfully participate in NYPA’s procurement of goods and services, construction contracts and professional services.  NYPA’s supplier diversity program is also responsible for negotiating with subcontractors, evaluating compliance for prime contracts and monitoring labor force requirements.  In addition, NYPA has held purchasing exchanges around New York State for the past 18 years.  All of these efforts have resulted in more than $500 million in NYPA business, and other significant business opportunities, for M/WBEs. 

National Grid is committed to providing contracting opportunities for small, minority- and women-owned businesses to deliver materials and services throughout the communities National Grid serves in New England and New York.  Incorporating a rich cultural environment into our vendor database gives National Grid a competitive advantage and helps sustain its global footprint for future generations. The company’s supplier diversity program is responsible for working with all of the company's business units to develop, implement and monitor supplier diversity policies and practices throughout the company in the U.S. The program endeavors to partner with all diverse firms to develop, utilize and grow contracting opportunities to increase their market share and sustainability.

About NYPA:

■    The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation's largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.  ■    About 75 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.  ■    For more information,


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