DCED Secretary Dennis Davin Highlights Importance of LGBT Contributions to Pennsylvania Economy, Wolf Administration Commitment to Equality Initiatives

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin provided keynote remarks at the Central Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner at Picard Grand Pavilion in Hershey on Thursday evening, highlighting the importance of the LGBT community’s contributions to Pennsylvania’s economy and reinforcing the Wolf Administration’s commitment to equality initiatives throughout the state.

“Our mission at DCED is to foster opportunities for businesses to grow and communities to succeed and thrive, and this is a goal that is inclusive of all groups and individuals. We believe that it is important to advocate for diversity – the diversity of our employees in state government, of the communities we serve throughout Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, and of each and every one of our 12.8 million citizens. Everyone deserves to be treated equally and receive the same opportunities for improved quality of life and economic benefit,” said Sec. Davin. “One major advantage that Pennsylvania boasts is a governor that is dedicated to inclusiveness and to the promotion of an economy that works for all the state’s unique individuals. This is truly a quality to be admired.”

Since taking office, Governor Tom Wolf has advocated for efforts to support diversity and inclusion.

In September 2015, Governor Wolf signed Executive Order 2015-11 (Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities in State Contracting and Pennsylvania’s Economy), solidifying his administration’s commitment to improving the participation of small and diverse businesses – minority, women-, LGBT-, veteran-, and disabled-owned businesses – in state government contracting and the commonwealth’s overall economy. The order directs a consistent and coordinated effort to ensure diversity and inclusion in all contracting opportunities for small and diverse businesses throughout agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction and promotes the creation of programs to better prepare those businesses to compete and succeed in Pennsylvania’s economy.

Executive Order 2015-11 also created the Advisory Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities. Including membership from DCED, the departments of General Services, Transportation, and Labor and Industry, in addition to commonwealth agency staff and small-, minority-, women-, LBGT-, veteran-, and disabled-owned business representatives,  the council is designed to advise the Governor’s Office on state contracting and grant opportunities, job creation initiatives, financing and bonding programs, business assistance, and professional development agencies that promote equity in the commonwealth.

“I took the formation Governor Wolf’s advisory council to heart and launched the DCED Diversity Council as a mechanism to strengthen fairness and respect for differences and to ensure equity regarding DCED’s employment and contracting activities,” said Sec. Davin. “The council serves as a forum to discuss diversity and inclusion issues, solutions, and best practices, and I’m proud to say that its members represent the diversity of the department, including members of our LGBT staff.”

Additionally, in July 2016, Governor Wolf announced the administration’s formal recognition of LGBT-owned and disabled-owned businesses as small diverse businesses (SDBs) in an effort to improve opportunities for diverse state contracting. He stated that the changes were both overdue and necessary.

“We all contribute to Pennsylvania’s economic success, and we all have the right to enjoy the benefits that come with it,” Davin said. 

For further information on the DCED’s programs and services, visit dced.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: David Misner, 717-783-1132

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