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MCC forum for diverse business owners makes hundreds of successful connections

“Procurement One-on-One” was a packed house.

More than 50 companies and organizations made connections with more than 150 diverse business owners at Metropolitan Community College during its annual procurement event.

On Tuesday, March 14, the Human Resource and Purchasing Department of MCC, in partnership with DST, Hallmark, JE Dunn, Kiewit, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City Power and Light and Kansas City Public Schools hosted the “Procurement One-on-One” outreach business forum at MCC-Penn Valley.

“It was a great event,” says MCC’s supplier diversity coordinator Chris Kelly. “We met a lot of new diverse vendors.”

2017 marks the fifth year Metropolitan Community College hosted this event that helps the Kansas City area community grow stronger, as it provides a unique opportunity for local businesses and organizations to make diverse connections.

The forum “Making the Connection” brought together regional institutions, municipalities and state and federal government entities in one venue to meet with Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, LGBT-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Service-Disabled – Veteran-Owned, and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUB-Zone) entities.

Kelly says event committee partners and sponsors, like KCP&L and the KCATA who helped originate the event five years ago, make all the difference.

Committee members are responsible for recruiting other peers in supplier diversity to participate to meet with the business owners and to encourage diverse business owners to attend.

“It’s our way of giving back to our community and supplying diversity,” says Kelly. She applauded the business partners who are helping with outreach and connecting people. “As an educational institution, Metropolitan Community College works to educate our community and business leaders about securing contracts and searching for opportunities to partner with diverse businesses.”

Companies posted testimonials on the College’s Facebook page following the event:

  • Multicultural Business Coalition: “We enjoyed the opportunity to share our resources and represent the MBC Member organizations!”
  • Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce: “We enjoyed our time helping businesses connect.”

The College’s supplier diversity program is managed through MCC’s Chief of Staff Kathy Walter-Mack.

The program’s next scheduled event is the fourth annual “Relationships to Partnerships” Midwest Supplier Diversity Exposition set for May 10 at the MCC-Business & Technology campus.

For more information about MCC’s procurement initiatives, contact Chris Kelly at or call 816-604-1106.

For MCC’s original story, announcing the forum and the complete list of participants, click here.