Mississippi’s College Board Initiates Program to Link Minority Businesses, Colleges - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

Mississippi’s College Board Initiates Program to Link Minority Businesses, Colleges


by Laura Tillman, Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. — The state College Board announced an initiative Wednesday to partner with a website that promotes minority businesses.

The website, Where2Go411.com, connects minority-owned businesses with buyers online. The College Board is encouraging more Mississippi businesses to use the website so universities can easily find them when searching for potential vendors.

The initiative was launched at Jackson State University. All eight of the state’s public universities will participate in training sessions at vendor fairs to introduce local businesses to the website.

“This is part of the board’s focus on increasing minority participation at universities, whether we’re talking about the percentage of students enrolled, faculty or staff, or administration, or procurement opportunities,” said Hank Bounds, state commissioner of higher education. “We’re using a number of tools, and today we roll out one of those tools.”

Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, said it’s important to push past resistance to minority business initiatives.

“When you’re working with the rank-and-file purchasing agents or directors of administration, they often fall into the trap of doing business the way they’ve always done it in the past,” Horhn said. “It’s comfortable, they’ve got a system and that system appears to work for them.”

Horhn said he’s glad the College Board is getting involved with promoting minority businesses.

“We have to quit talking about this,” he said. “Everyone pays lip service, but very few entities are actually doing it, because it requires change, and it requires making a commitment to bring about the change and seeing it through your people who are responsible for the day-to-day activities.”

Kathy Times, co-founder of Where2Go411.com, said it is important to focus on driving the state economy.

“We’re hoping this will certainly become a model that other states will use,” Times said.

Minority enterprises will post information about their businesses and the goods and services they provide on the site. Universities will send and receive quotes, proposals, and subcontracting opportunities through the online system

Bounds said the ability to use the website to request quotes and track the outcome, including when a vendor does or does not submit a proposal and whether the vendor receives the bid, will save the universities time and effort.

“It will also provide data for future decision-making,” Bounds said.

“Achieving the Dream’ ID’s Student Issues NASHVILLE — Advancing equity, strengthening advising and improving pedagogy and curriculum were among the issues explored this week at the annual meeting of Achieving the Dream.  Dr. Karen A. Stout, president of Achieving the Dream, addresses...
Mississippi Universities Seek More State Funds, Outline Budget Woes JACKSON, Miss. — Leaders of Mississippi's eight public universities are ringing alarm bells about state funding, saying they could lose their ability to compete if funding cuts from recent years aren't restored. In presentations Monday to legi...
Minority-Serving Institutions Anxious Over Tax Bill While the Senate Republicans just passed a major tax overhaul on Friday, higher education writ at-large has been wringing its hands for weeks. Especially for colleges and universities with large minority populations, the bill would only pile on more ...
Chicago STAR Scholars Program Provides College Access Tony Tran was all set to report to his dorm at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign when his mother told him she had been diagnosed with cancer. “So I couldn’t in good faith go,” Tran says, explaining that he didn’t want to leave his fa...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *