NMSDC forms alliances to improve minority supply chain

July 12, 2021

National Minority Supplier Development Council Forms Alliances to Improve the Minority Cybersecurity Supply Chain

NEW YORK, NY — The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) begins it national rollout of the CyberReadyMBE™ program at its Chicago council to combat cyberattacks happening across the U.S.

NMSDC and its partners are preparing for cyber growth and supply chain resiliency for their MBEs (minority business enterprises) by launching CyberReadyMBE™. Together, key strategic partners will propel MBEs to stand ready to increase cybersecurity resiliency and capabilities for corporations and federal agencies.

With the generous support of GE and Bank of America and the collaboration with Purdue University, cyber consultants, and government agencies, the program is strategically designed and aligns with national federal standards. The program provides a pathway for MBEs to successfully increase their cyber capabilities and resiliency.

“GE Foundation is proud to support the CyberReadyMBE™ program that will help enable greater economic inclusion for minority business enterprises by investing in their cybersecurity capabilities,” said Mike Barber, GE’s chief diversity officer.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reported in 2018 that of the 27.6 million firms in the U.S. in 2012, 7.9 million firms were minority-owned, representing over 29 percent of all businesses. “It is imperative these organizations play a role in combating cyberattacks and support the nation’s effort to grow and increase the capabilities of its domestic supply chain. The CyberReadyMBE™ is designed to reach the goals of growing MBEs,” said Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan, president of Industry Workforce Solutions.

“Bank of America has been committed to working with diverse businesses for more than 30 years. We understand that for them to be competitive in the marketplace, they must have the knowledge, support and tools that enable them to effectively compete for corporate and government business. We’re excited to join with NMSDC, our long-standing partner, to help diverse businesses reach an essential goal – becoming cyber ready now and in the future,” said Vonshe Jenkins, Bank of America’s supplier diversity and responsible sourcing executive.

The Department of Defense and U.S. corporations recognize that small minority business has a crucial role in the nation’s efforts against cybersecurity attacks. These attacks threaten U.S. technological and industrial dominance.

Larry Fink, division manager for the Expeditionary Command Control Communications and Cyber Division at Naval Surface Warfare Center stated in a recent webinar for the CyberReadyMBE™ program that NAVSEA is in constant need of qualified and prepared cyber companies who can support the critical needs of the Navy. “We look forward to working with NMSDC and their initiatives to improve MBEs while giving them access to federal opportunities.,” he said.

CyberReadyMBE™ will address the cyber readiness of MBEs by assessing and closing the cyber and workforce gaps. The program includes a cyber summit, workshops, and six week-long working group sessions. The goal is to bring MBEs through a process to increase their capabilities and opportunities with the NMSDC corporate partners and federal agencies.

“I’m very excited and impressed to have such an influential group of individuals from Purdue’s Cyber Apprenticeship program along with senior leadership from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division to senior vice presidents from both Bank of America and GE. We look forward to the Chicago pilot and then on to the national roll-out to our 22 councils. It will have the opportunity to impact over 13,000 MBEs with this program,” said Maria Prince of the NMSDC.

The partnerships have brought together the cyber consulting firm eFortresses to leverage their Cyber Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) platform and guide the program to align with the CMMC federal standards.

Vincent Williams, CEO and president of the Chicago Minority Development Council who will oversee the first affiliate rollout, said, “Our MBEs are excited about having the opportunity to participate as cohorts in this pilot program. Our goal is to help our companies increase capabilities, allowing them to land more corporate and federal contracts. We look forward to the Chicago MSDC kick-off summit and workshop on August 11 – 12, 2021. Interested MBEs who wish to participate can contact our office for more details.”

For additional information on the program contact Doreen Gonzalez-Gaboyan at dgaboyan@industryworkforcesolutions.com or Maria Prince at maria.prince@nmsdc.org