WSSC’s FY 2017 OSDI Programs’ Performance Results Report (revised 11/2017) 41 the programs and support offered by the OSDI with making it possible for minority and diverse firms to successfully work with WSSC, to grow, and to become more active participants in the economy. The OSDI has facilitated an increase in the capacity of small and diverse enterprises and is extending work out into the local community. “We have seen firms that have elevated and grown out of the program, from being a subcontractor to a prime, or transitioning from being a certified MBE to a majority firm,” he observes. The OSDI helps these businesses position themselves for success by offering a constant technical support database, known as WSSC’s Supplier Portal System, which details how these firms can work most effectively with WSSC. Mantua recognizes, “The OSDI enhances WSSC’s procurement process by giving us access to a larger base of vendors that are available to do the variety of things that we need; it helps attract professionals that are qualified, competent, and successful”. He describes local and small businesses “While there is always room to grow, the progress made in WSSC’s ability to track and monitor goals and results makes this year a notable transformation from previous years.” JOSEPH MANTUA, WSSC’S DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER FOR OPERATIONS as being able to do things more quickly and with less bureaucracy. “They really jump in and help in areas where there is a definite need to mix it up,” he says. “The biggest benefit I see is having a fresh perspective, partnering with someone that has a different point of view. Working with diverse firms allows us to open our ‘business eyes.’ Working with local community firms brings the perspective of the community to the project.” To optimize this ongoing collaboration Mantua believes, “There is an opportunity to provide more assistance to small and minority firms once they are on a successful team and are doing work for us. These firms need support to navigate how to work with bigger companies, getting answers and assistance as they are actually working on the projects.” VIEWS FROM THE C-SUITE: CONT.