SAN JOSE, Calif.—(NYSE: CWT)—California Water Service (Cal Water) was honored with a 2017 Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award this week by President Donald J. Trump as part of National Minority Enterprise Development Week. Cal Water’s Supplier Diversity Program Manager Jose Espinoza accepted the award at the White House on the utility’s behalf.
The award was given to Cal Water by Trump and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency for the company’s efforts to support the diverse business community. Espinoza is responsible for Cal Water’s goal to enhance procurement sourced from minority-, women-, disabled veteran-, and LGBT-owned businesses. The utility has surpassed the California Public Utilities Commission’s goal of 21.5% spending with certified diverse suppliers for the last three years.
“We are pleased to be a recipient of the Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award, as we are firmly committed to building our relationships with diverse suppliers,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water President and CEO. “Thanks in large part to Jose’s efforts, we have been able to utilize this expanded pool of suppliers to obtain the highest-quality goods and services at the lowest prices. This directly benefits our customers and communities and enables us to continue fulfilling our commitment to providing quality, service, and value.”
In 2016, Cal Water spent $48.46 million on goods and services from diverse suppliers certified with the California Public Utilities Commission to support its operations statewide, compared to $40.88 million in 2015. The utility worked with 216 certified diverse suppliers and expanded its diverse supplier database by 7% last year.
California Water Service serves about 2 million people through 482,400 service connections in California. The company has provided water service in the state since 1926.