CUNY and City University Construction Fund to Host MWBE, SDVOB Opportunities Conference

The City University of New York and the City University Construction Fund on August 8 will host their 10th annual business opportunities conference for companies owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans. This year’s conference theme, “Open Doors to New Opportunities and Relationships,” underscores CUNY’s long-held commitment to develop successful business connections with these enterprises and to encourage them to explore opportunities with the University and the fund.

CUNY and the CUCF have been dedicated to creating business partnerships with New York State-certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs) for more than a decade.  These efforts by CUNY and the CUCF are among the state’s longest-running formal outreach initiatives.

“The University’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “By connecting minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to CUNY and CUCF, we build on that strength and broaden the scope of the University’s historic objective to open the doors of opportunity to all.”

“Tapping into the full range of talent and experience that New York has to offer is common business sense,” said Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz. “But more than good business, ensuring that MWBEs and SDVOBs compete for contracts speaks to the University’s foundational commitment to affording access and opportunity to all those willing to work for it.”

The daylong conference will occur from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th St., in Manhattan. The event is designed to assist MWBEs and SDVOBs in connecting with procurement and construction opportunities and in conducting business with the University.

The conference program is designed to help businesses develop a toolbox that will enable them to successfully pursue business with CUNY and the CUCF. Chairperson Thompson, Interim Chancellor Rabinowitz, John Jay College President Karol V. Mason, and Alphonso B. David, Counsel to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, are featured speakers.

Philip A. Berry, Acting Chairperson of the CUCF’s Board of Trustees will moderate a panel discussion of opportunities with CUNY and CUCF. Panel participants include Judith Bergtraum, Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Planning, Construction and Management; Matthew Sapienza, Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer; Sandra Wilkin, CUNY Trustee; Gerald Bushell, President and CEO, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; and Lourdes Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer, office of Gov. Cuomo.

The program includes five panel sessions, boot-camp intensives and exclusive Open Doors business meet-ups for New York State-certified M/WBEs and SDVOBs, which will enable them to make one-on-one connections with prime contractors and procurement professionals. The event also includes a Help Desk to provide real-time answers from experts and a Marketplace Exhibit Hall with over 70 public, private and nonprofit organizations that provide direct networking and new business opportunities for attendees. The full program is available online at

Registration is currently open and New York State-certified MWBEs and SDVOBs, and those that aspire to be certified, from across New York State and the tristate region, are encouraged to attend. For more information and to register, visit

About the City University Construction Fund

The City University Construction Fund (CUCF) is the core of CUNY’s capital construction program and is responsible for more than 300 buildings across 24 colleges and professional schools. The CUCF is a public benefit corporation established by New York State to provide facilities for CUNY and to support its educational purposes. The CUCF advances design, construction and development projects for new facilities and for the ongoing renovation of existing facilities.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields.  The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.