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State Surpasses Minority Business Goal

Kenyatta Chandler with Ohio Development Service talks with minority  business owners st the Dayton Job Center.
Jerry Kenney
Kenyatta Chandler with Ohio Development Service talks with minority business owners st the Dayton Job Center.

For the first time ever, the state of Ohio says it has reached its goal of supporting minority-owned businesses. State officials met with minority business owners at the job center in Dayton to tout the achievement and talk about increasing the number of businesses eligible for state contracts.

Surpassing its 15 percent goal, the state says 19 percent of all goods and services purchased this year have been through minority businesses. That equates to more than $228 million dollars spent with those businesses, up from $165 million in 2014.

Kenyatta Chandler, Interim Chief of the Minority Business Development Division with Ohio Development Services, says those number can go higher but more minority business owners have to be educated about what the state has to offer.

“The first half is to reducing the steps that it takes to want to become certified [and to] also understand that the needs of the state education on those processes is very important,” he said.

RoShawnWinburn with the city of Dayton Human Relations Council says state officials are traveling to other Ohio cities in the coming weeks to continue their outreach to minority owned businesses.

“As we can identify more companies and increase the pool then we can help the state to set more contracts over for these companies to compete for.”

Minority Business Assistance Centers are set up around the state to help business owners with the state’s certification process.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.