In 2009, CoreCivic leadership saw an opportunity to use the company’s collective purchasing power to support the success of small businesses, and in doing so, provide more opportunities for businesses owned by women, minorities, and veterans. These efforts evolved into CoreCivic's Diversity Business Inclusion (DBI) program, an approach that proved to be invaluable during COVID-19 as CoreCivic worked to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies.
Dawn Mason, CoreCivic's managing director of Purchasing and Supply Management, has led the DBI program since joining the company in 2009. She says that she fully recognized the power diverse partnerships bring to an organization at the height of COVID-19.
"I attribute our supply chain management success to the diverse partnerships we developed during the pandemic," said Mason. "For example, The P3 Group, a small, minority-owned business based in Atlanta, became CoreCivic's primary supplier of 3M respirators, disposable masks, and most recently nitrile gloves."
Through The P3 Group, CoreCivic was able to secure ample supplies of masks and high quality, medical-grade nitrile gloves with competitive pricing, keeping us ahead of the critical shortages nationwide.
"Businesses like The P3 Group, that have the flexibility to offer competitive prices for quality, FDA-certified PPE, afford us the ability to continue protecting our staff and those in our care," Mason said.
While this partnership was crucial for CoreCivic to maintain a steady supply of PPE, it also provided the company an opportunity to further develop the DBI program and support a smaller, minority-owned business.
"CoreCivic was one of our first customers in this area," said Dee Brown, president of the P3 Group. "This relationship has allowed our medical supply group to grow tremendously, and also added significant credibility to our firm in the PPE market, as well as our core markets. Through our strategic partnership, we have added three full-time employees who focus on sourcing high-quality PPE products that are on the ground in the USA. The additional revenue has allowed us to continue to exceed our annual growth projections and has us well-positioned for the future. I truly appreciate the opportunity."
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for almost two-thirds of all new job creation. As small businesses grow and expand, local economies improve, helping to support schools, city services, and more sustainable communities.
“Because many small businesses operate locally, the hiring of local people can have a tremendous impact not only on the local economy but on the overall health of a community and its people,” Mason said. “When we partner with small businesses, we’re helping to create more local job opportunities, and small businesses support other small businesses which ultimately creates a ripple effect of boosting all aspects of the local economy.”
When Mason thinks about the next 10 years, she's excited about how CoreCivic's DBI program will grow and evolve.
“DBI is more than just a 'feel-good' program at our company,” Mason explained. “It’s becoming a business strategy that promotes a diverse supplier base and drives competition between our existing and potential suppliers. Ultimately, CoreCivic's DBI practices demonstrate our commitment to doing business in diverse markets and supporting the economic growth of all communities.”