FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. I Registered In Your Database, What's Next?

By registering, you are visible to sourcing professionals, throughout the company. Make sure your info is up-to-date and comprehensive of any new products and services you offer in our vendor registration portal. When an opportunity exists for which you qualify, we will contact you directly. This can sometimes be a lengthy process and your patience and understanding are appreciated.

2. What Are The Participating American Water Locations?

Click here to view the list of regulated state operations.

Below is the regional segmentation of our regulated state operations:

Northeastern

  • New Jersey American Water Company
  • New York American Water Company
  • Virginia American Water Company
  • Maryland-American Water Company

Midwest

  • Illinois American Water Company
  • Missouri American Water Company
  • Indiana American Water Company
  • Iowa American Water Company
  • Michigan American Water Company

Mid-Atlantic

  • Pennsylvania American Water Company
  • West Virginia American Water Company

Southeastern

  • Kentucky American Water Company
  • Tennessee American Water Company

Western

  • California American Water Company
  • Hawaii American Water Company

3. Does American Water Guarantee Work For Diverse Suppliers?

  • No. We do not guarantee work for any supplier. We are committed to providing access and opportunity for diverse suppliers to compete for our businesses.

4. Must A Diverse Supplier Be Certified To Do Business With American Water?

  • To uphold the integrity of our supplier diversity development process, we require that all suppliers seeking to participate in it be certified as a women or minority-owned business by one of our recognized certifying agencies.

5. How Do I Become Certified?

  • For more information about certification, contact one of our recognized certifying agencies.

6. What Is A Diverse Supplier?

CERTIFIED means currently certified as MWDVBE by an authorized certifying body, such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) or its affiliate regional councils, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). CONTROL means overall fiscal/legal responsibility and exercising the power to make policy decisions. OWNED means at least 51% of the business or, in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by a minority, woman or service-disabled veteran.

Minority-Owned Business
A business that is at least 51 percent owned by a minority individual or group(s); or, in the case of publicly owned businesses, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more minority groups, and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more of those individuals. Minority includes, but is not limited to, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian-Pacific American, and Native American (American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut).

Women-Owned Business
A business that is at least 51 percent owned by a non-minority woman or women; or, in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51 percent of the stock of which is owned by one or more women, and who controls the daily management and operation of the business.

Veteran-Owned Business
A business that is at least 51% owned and controlled or, in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by an owner or owners who are veterans of the U.S. military, ground, navel, or air service, who (a) served on active duty for a period of more than one hundred and eighty (180) days and were discharged or released with other than a dishonorable discharge or (b) were discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business
A business owned by one or more service-disabled veteran, as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(2), with a disability that is service connected as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(16).

Historically Underutilized Business
A business located in a “historically underutilized business zone,” owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens, and at least thirty-five percent (35%) of its employees must reside in a HUBZone. It must appear on the list of Qualified HUBZone Small Business Concerns maintained by the SBA.

We work with HUBZone businesses, as well as these small businesses who have additional certification for diversity type:
Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) | Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) | Woman-owned Small Business (WOSB) | Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) | Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) | Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) | Minority Institutions (MI)

Small Business
Depending on the industry, “small” is defined by either the number of employees or average annual receipts of a business concern. Website references for size standards by NAICS code is www.sba.gov/services/contractingopportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html.

Small Disadvantaged Business
Means a “for profit” business: 1. That qualifies as “small” per the SBA Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes.

Disabled-Owned Business
A business that is usually certified by a federal, state or local government agency as having met all of the government standards that award eligibility, but may include women, minority, disabled and other disadvantaged by as a result of economic disadvantages with respect to education, employment, residence or business location or social disadvantage and lack of business training.

LGBT-Owned Business
A business that is majority (at least 51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, exercises independence from any non-LBGT business enterprise, has a principal place of business (headquarters) in the United States, and has been formed as a legal entity in the United States.

Other Groups
Groups whose members are found to be disadvantaged by the Small Business Administration pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act as amended [15 U.S.C. 637 (d)] or the Secretary of Commerce pursuant to Section 5 of Executive Order 111625. For additional information and/or clarification, contact your local/regional Small Business Administration Office.

7. WHAT CERTIFICATIONS DOES AMERICAN WATER ACCEPT?

RECOGNIZED CERTIFICATION AGENCIES

We require that diverse-owned businesses acquire third-party certification to be a part of our supplier diversity program. Here are some of the certifications that we accept:

National Organizations

  • Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
    https://www.wbenc.org/
    Certifying women-owned business enterprises
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
    https://nmsdc.org/
    Certifying minority-owned business enterprises
  • Disability:IN
    https://disabilityin/
    Certifying disability-owned, veteran-disability-owned, and service-disabled veteran-disability-owned businesses
  • National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC)
    http://nvbdc.org/
    Certifying Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned businesses
  • National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA)
    https://navoba.org/
    Certifying Veteran and Service-Disabled Veteran-owned businesses

Government Organizations

  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
    https://www.sba.gov/
    Certifying HUBZone businesses and classifying small businesses of all types. All diversity types must be certified through a separate organization. For instance, the SBA has approved WBENC as a third-party certifier for Women-Owned Small Business certification as part of the SBA's WOSB Federal Contracting Program.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
    https://vip.vetbiz.va.gov/
    Certifying Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

Regional

  • Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WBEC)
    http://www.wbecouncil.org/
    Certifying women-owned business enterprises
  • Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC)
    http://emsdc.org/
    Certifying minority-owned business enterprises
  • U. S. Department of Transportation DBE Program (US DOT)
    https://www.transportation.gov/partners/small-business/dbe-program
    Certifying DBEs that are for-profit small businesses where socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51% interest and also control management and daily business operations. African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans, and women are presumed to be socially and economically disadvantaged. Other individuals can also qualify as socially and economically disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis.
  • Unified Certification Program (UCP) Program
    https://www.transportation.gov/osdbu/disadvantaged-business-enterprise/dbe-uniform-certification-application
    Certifying Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) business enterprises
  • Supplier Clearinghouse
    http://www.thesupplierclearinghouse.com/
    Certifying Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE), LGBT Business Enterprise (LGBTBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (8(a)), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), and Women/Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) businesses.

8. How Does The National Supplier Diversity Team Help Diverse Suppliers Potentially Do Business With The American Water?

We promote diversity growth in our supplier base through the following process:

  • Work with our sourcing staff to identify upcoming procurement opportunities.
  • Identify qualified, diverse suppliers to participate in upcoming procurement opportunities.
  • Screen identified diverse suppliers to determine whether a match exists between suppliers' capabilities and business requirements.
  • Refer the identified suppliers to the sourcing specialist to be considered for inclusion in a relevant procurement opportunity.
  • Based upon a positive review of a company’s capabilities and expertise, procurement staff will include a diverse supplier in the request for proposal (RFP) process. This process will allow you to view in detail the scope of the project and submit a bid for work.

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