Purchasing Portal (SPP)
By David LePage, Executive Director, Fast Track to Employment
Every business and organization purchases office supplies, catering,
printing, and courier services. The Social Purchasing Portal (SPP)
helps direct their existing purchasing to suppliers who provide the
product and services they need and at the same time create a community
economic development value as well, much like the job for Joe Ricci.
“A few years ago, if you told me I’d be going back to school and then
working full-time, I would have said you were nuts,” says Joseph Ricci,
a former drug user who has quickly become one of the top employees
at Mills Basics, a supplier of office supplies on the SPP. The job
opportunity for Joe became available as the Mills Basics business
grew as a result of their participation in the SPP.
What does a prestigious law
firm located in the heart of Vancouver's business and financial
district have to do with finding jobs for the hard-to-employ?
Well, one thing lawyers need lots of paper, paper that Edwards,
Kenny & Bray now buys from Mills Basics, an SPP supplier.
The lawyers at EKB may never meet the employees at Mills Basics,
but by buying their office supplies from Mills, they are helping
to create new employment opportunities for persons previously
Photo: Mills Basics, an SPP supplier, new employees and their
The SPP focuses on generating more business for supplier companies
who have committed to considering applicants who have graduated from
community-based employment readiness programs. The portal is a web-based
procurement tool that allows socially responsible companies to channel
their purchasing dollars to buy products and services from participating
suppliers that add social value to their already competitive offering.
Using the portal to find everything from paper clips, to customized
corporate identity products, is a simple and effective way to walk
the talk of corporate social responsibility and contribute to community
What's more, the concept of teaching a man to fish and then building
a market for his catch has caught the imagination of businesses and
CED leaders in other Canadian cities. Representatives from 11 municipalities
across Canada have contacted Fast Track to Employment for more information
on the Social Purchasing Portal model. Sites in Toronto and Winnipeg
are now live and building in their communities.
Thanks to CEDTAP we have been able to work with other communities
to build their local SPP site to meet local economic and employment
This simple and innovative idea builds partnerships and relationships
between business and community, to use existing purchasing to create
local CED value.
Cook Studio Café Catering Employees
-- business growth through the Social Purchasing Portal has
created six new jobs.
For more information; please contact David Lepage at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit the Social Purchasing Portal at www.sppcanada.org