Volume 10 | January 2022
The Office of Diversity in Business Practices
Our Mission:
It is the policy of The Office of Diversity in Business Practices (ODPB) to provide all persons an equal and fair opportunity to participate in procurement and contracting opportunities sponsored by the District.
Our ultimate goal is to support sustainable growth and economic opportunities for small, women-owned, and minority businesses. School Board Policy 6.143
COO Message
Successful SMWBEs Help Students Succeed

One of the strongest influences of my thinking on this subject was during my early years at the SDPBC when District 7 School Board Member, Dr. Debra Robinson explained the correlation between student achievement and socio-economic status. Like most people I already had a general understanding that students living in poverty generally had more barriers to overcome than wealthier students, however, translating that into how we, as a school district, could help our students by lifting their parents out of poverty, gave new clarity and purpose to my job. Read More
Who's Being Awarded PBCSD Contracts?
The Latest Contract Compliance Data Broken Down by Gender & Ethnicity
Goods & Services Update:
SBE Vendor Specializes in Autism Awareness, Acceptance, Affirmation, and Advocacy

SPARC Guidance creates customized trainings and coaching sessions for families, schools, and professionals who have or work with autistic individuals. Their goal is to facilitate and strengthen what they call the 4 A’s of Autism: Awareness, Acceptance, Affirmation, and Advocacy. By educating and expanding professional knowledge and empathy towards autism, they hope to help create environments where neurodiversity is not only accepted, but respected. Some of the trainings offered include: Hello, Autism (an introduction to autism), Dealing with Difficult Behaviors, Ready Your Class, Let’s Talk Development, and Let’s Play (using play to expand learning). They are always open to creating new trainings to meet a client’s needs! Read More
Does Anyone Need Towing Services?

Due to the hard work of purchasing agent Carlos Santana, the Office of Diversity in Business Practices would like to congratulate Mr. Aaron Cocuzzo, owner of Priority Towing, Inc., a District-certified Small Business Enterprise (SBE) on becoming a bid-awarded vendor providing towing services west of 20 Mile Bend to the School District of Palm Beach County. Located in West Palm Beach, Priority Towing has 11 full-time employees who provide services throughout Palm Beach County.
SBE Became Official School District Business Card Provider

As of December 21, 2021, CGI Printing LLC (DBA Elite Printing & Signs), a District-certified SBE/MWBE Hispanic-owned firm, became the official business card provider for the School District of Palm Beach County!

CGI Printing LLC, DBA Elite Printing
Mr. Luis A. Pastor
1481 South Military Trail, Suite 12
West Palm Beach, FL 33415
Construction Update:
There are currently 16 ongoing facility renewal projects, and two new school construction projects progressing as scheduled. In the next few months, the District will award three new projects totaling an estimated $25 million dollars. All projects will have SBE goals and will provide many opportunities for District-certified small businesses.
Trades needed include:
·       Plumbing
·       Electrical
·       Mechanical
·       Stucco
·       HVAC
·       Site Cleaning
·       Toilet Accessories
·       Roofing
·       Flooring
·       Masonry & Concrete
·       Doors, Windows, Wall, and Ceiling
·       Finishes & Painting
·       Site Work & Demolition
Upcoming Events, Training, & Outreach
What is a Microaggression?

"Microaggression" is a term used for commonplace and daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups. The term, coined by Harvard University psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce, M.D., in the 1970s, described insults and dismissals which he regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflicting on African Americans. By the early 21st century, the use of the term was applied to casual degradation of any socially marginalized group, including LGBT people, people living in poverty, and people who are disabled. Psychologist Derald Wing Sue defines microaggressions as "brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership". The persons making the comments may be otherwise well-intentioned and unaware of the potential impact of their word. 
What are Black Women Feeling?
In a Washington Post article, many Black women stated that they felt relieved to work from home, free from micro and macro aggressions. Now, they are told to come back. In a Fall 2020 survey, the Gallup Center on Black Voices found that Black women were less likely than other demographics to feel that they are a valued member of their team, that they are treated with respect, and that their co-workers treat everyone fairly.  Read More: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/07/24/black-women-office-work-home/
"49% of Black women feel their race or ethnicity make it harder for them to get a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead, compared to 3% of White women and 11% of women overall."
Source: Lean In and McKinsey & Company
We are believers in the power of education and awareness to solve social inequities. Therefore, the School District of Palm Beach County Office of Diversity in Business Practices has partnered with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County to bring you Real Talk with Black Women coming in January 2022. The Office of Diversity has been able to secure a powerhouse panel of Black women to discuss the challenges and micro/macro aggressions that Black women face in the workplace. We are immensely proud to say that we have secured a panelist from the Obama Presidential Center, the Obama Foundation in Chicago, as well as a college president, a supply chain executive, and a phenomenal chef and business owner. I hope you will join us so that we can bring awareness to this problem and grow together to help solve it. A big thank you to all our panelists and sponsors!

Palm Beach Gardens High School’s Entrepreneurship Students Present at Entrepreneur Day 2021
Their presentation was entitled “The World of Social Media Marketing”. Who is better to speak to businesspeople regarding social media marketing than the demographic who uses social media the most? The students spent close to 20 hours researching social media marketing, polling over 130 of their peers, and perfecting their creative presentation. Their main presentation goals were to give the attendees a perspective on how teens use social media so businesses can relate to them more effectively and highlight the convenience of low-cost social media marketing. Traditional marketing methods such as TV/radio are not as productive in this key demographic. Based on the feedback from the workshop attendees, the students presented an informative and entertaining workshop. Read More
Meet Maricel, Welcome to our Team
Maricel is the specialist of training, event planning, and outreach in our department. Born in the Philippines, she took the courageous leap to migrate to United States to continue her career in education. For several years, she served as a teacher, a reading coach, and an Instructional Specialist, demonstrating her passion for educating students and providing professional development to teachers. Currently, Maricel works on designing, promoting, and executing outreach events to increase the participation and exposure of small business owners to all available opportunities provided by the School District of Palm Beach County. 
Examination of Effective Curriculum Wins Article of the Year
Congratulations Brian Knowles! Brian is the Manager of African, African American, Latino, Holocaust, and Gender Studies for the School District of Palm Beach County. He co-authored an article entitled "Putting Black Boys’ Literacies First: Collective Curriculum Development for the Lives & Literacies of Black Boys".

The publication has been named Article of the Year by the Journal of Literacy. Read More
In the News
How Bank of America is Helping Women Entrepreneurs Find Funding

Pam Seagle, global women's programs executive at Bank of America, said her team kept getting feedback about a lack of capital available. They also could not find another directory like this one. Earlier this year, Bank of America partnered with Cornell University to bring an entrepreneurship program to Charlotte focused on minority women. The Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell is a twelve-week, six-course program that helps women build skills and access resources to scale their businesses. More than 30,000 people have been enrolled globally since the program launched in 2018. Read More
Ford's new racial equity director, Angela Henderson, tackles 'elephant in the room'
"I've been at Ford for over 20 years and this has never been something we've talked about as a company," Henderson said. "People are going to say every word except for Black. We're finding once Ford made the step, that we said we're going to actually talk about this big elephant in the room and find ways to remove racism as much as we can within our scope of control, I think employees have changed. We're still evolving. But we've never had these conversations." Read More
Small Business Optimism Falls Amid Inflation, Labor Shortage
A record high of 51% of business owners reported an inability to fill job openings. When small businesses looked ahead to the next six months, their level of optimism slumped to the lowest level since December 2012. U.S. manufacturers see workforce shortages as their biggest risk and, during the next 12 months, plan to increase wages by 3.5%, a record rate in quarterly surveys dating back to 1997, according to the National Association of ManufacturersRead More
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