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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release October 6, 2000


I applaud President Clinton's decision to sign an Executive Order to increase opportunities and access for disadvantaged businesses. These businesses, vitally important to the economy of the United States, have historically faced hurdles in obtaining access to Federal procurement opportunities. The Executive Order directs each agency to take clear and specific steps to increase contracting between the Federal Government and Small Disadvantaged Businesses, businesses in the section 8(a) Business Development program and Minority Business Enterprises. I am particularly pleased that the Executive Order specifically emphasizes contracts for advertising and information technology, and that it requires each agency to detail its efforts to increase use of disadvantaged businesses by submitting annual reports. Today's action is another step taken by this Administration to level the playing field for minority owned businesses.

Also today, I urge businesses and workers to read an important new report issued by the National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the U.S. Department of Commerce entitled Best Practices in Achieving Workforce Diversity. This report finds that diversity is good for business and should serve as a model for the private and public sectors as they develop their workforces.

Finally, I commend the American Advertising Federation for responding to my challenge to demonstrate the value of diversity and the business advantages of serving minority customers by developing and publishing Principles for Effective Advertising in the American Multicultural Marketplace. I encourage companies to sign onto these Principles to increase their commitment to diversity in the advertising industry.