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Minority Business Accelerator 2.5+ Client Strong Tool Lands Multimillion Dollar Deal With GE Healthcare
Date:7/13/2009

to deliver, we have the other businesses look at these suppliers as well," said Mike Lucas, who leads GE Healthcare's supplier diversity efforts. "Cedric is growing his business, and we're seeing a good, strong supplier who is helping us drive productivity, as well as market penetration."

Lucas says that programs such as the Minority Business Accelerator 2.5+ makes it easier for GE Healthcare to identify, evaluate and do business with high-potential minority suppliers, which have proven to be an important part of the division's business and growth strategy. "We're creating sustainability," says Lucas. "This is not done from just a philanthropic standpoint; it truly makes great business sense."

Andrew Jackson, executive director of the Commission on Economic Inclusion and a senior vice president of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, said that despite the current economic downturn, deal-making between majority companies and MBAccelerator 2.5+ minority-owned businesses continues. "Strong Tool is an excellent example of how business owners can adjust to market realities and create new opportunities," said Jackson. He noted that since its launch in January 2008, the MBAccelerator 2.5+ has helped 14 MBEs in a variety of industries--including printing, construction, electrical, professional services, and telecommunication and data cabling--secure contracts worth more than $54 million.

Strong Tool, founded in 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio, now has branch offices in Lima and Lexington, Ohio; Evansville and Warsaw, Indiana; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Birmingham, Alabama. Beckett, a former vice president of Barnes Group, Inc., and former president of Barnes' industrial distribution business, Bowman Distribution, purchased the company in 2002.

The Minority Business Accelerator2.5+ is an initiative of the Commission on Economic Inclusi
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SOURCE Greater Cleveland Partnership
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