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May 14, 2016 08:33 AM EDT

The University of Pennsylvania contributes to many sectors of employment, such as construction jobs, food services, creative designers, and many local goods purchasing. As the largest private employer in Philadelphia, Penn has significant influence to the overall economic and it contributes $14 billion to the state economy.

Penn's procurement program remains a focus for the university. It goes back to 1995 where a program launched by the university implemented local purchasing initiative. The 'Buy West Philadelphia Initiative' results a growth in minority sector, women in business and local work force.

Many other Penn's initiatives include Penn Medicine Pipeline Program - an opportunity for students to develop the skills needed to communicate with patients and Diversity Supplier Mentoring Program - which allows students to have an insight on education through learning and partnership.

Today, Penn's program on focusing to the local purchasing is just as strong as a decade ago. the university owns various programs that would benefit for female entrepreneurs, minority, and the local residents. The programs are led by dedicated committees that offer guiding tips and assistance in many sectors including purchasing, human resources, and construction, which most of the businesses are related to buyer-supplier.

To hold the vision, Penn partners up with the majority of companies to work together so that people will have the experience to work with top-tiers in the industry and eventually, be able to stand out from competition in the future.  

Penn local purchasing shows an increase in each fiscal year with 38 percent of participating vendors entering University portal, Penn Marketplace, to buy from different merchants.

Regarding purchasing business, executive director from Business Services Division, Mark Mills, explains that smart-buy does not mean purchasing high-end products or services but it is more about working creatively so that vendors would want to bid. Mills also noticed that the program is quite successful in Penn.

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