Best-of-the-Best Program or Initiative of the Year Finalists

| By Andy DiAntonio
The National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) is excited to announce the five finalists for the inaugrural Best-of-the-Best Program or Initiative of the Year Award. This prestigious award was designed to recognize an exemplary program or initiative that was developed to better the lives and opportunities of internal and/or external diverse stakeholders.  The Program or Initiative of the Year impacts the firm in one or more of the following areas: customer service, community service and external engagement, customer programming, or employee inclusion. 
 
This year's finalists are:
 
American Airlines 
It’s Cool to Fly American
The It’s Cool To Fly American (ICFTA) program is a grass-roots, employee-driven volunteer initiative implemented by the American Airlines Abilities Employee Business Resource Group. The ICFTA program is designed to help acclimate children with autism and their families to the world of airline travel by simulating the entire airport experience. Since the inception of the ICTFA events, over 300 families have been impacted and countless American Airlines employees have gained a new-found appreciation for the challenges these families face and are better able to serve them as customers. Participants have indicated that the once seemingly impossible dream of taking a family vacation by air could now become a reality.    
 
Bank of America
Transgender Framework, Life Event Services            
Bank of America’s Life Event Services division is a dedicated team of Bank of America human resource specialists with a simple mission – to help employees navigate significant life events. In 2015, this team expanded their framework to include Transgender Support. Transgender Support Specialists now provide confidential, one-on-one support and connections to relevant partners, resources and training for teammates transition in the workplace as well as support for their teams and managers. The Transgender Support team is in place to ensure an inclusive workplace and encourage all Bank of America teammates to bring their whole selves to work.   
 
Pacific Gas & Electric
Pacific Gas & Electric Supplier Diversity Program
Under the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Supply Chain Responsibility Department, the Supplier Diversity Program supports the company in its mission to include women-owned, minority-owned, disabled veteran-owned and LGBT-owned suppliers in the supply chain. PG&E recognized many years ago the value of cultivating a community of suppliers that reflects California's diversity, increases economic opportunity in local communities and enhances the quality of the service provided to customers. With that in mind, PG&E has developed a robust, multi-faceted and integrated program that helps to drive strong performance. PG&E’s supplier diversity program is in its 35th year and generates annual spend of 2.5 billion with diverse suppliers, 44% of PG&E's total supply chain spend.
 
TIAA
Contingent Worker Diversity Program
TIAA believes that having a diverse pool of talents fosters the interactions and innovation that lead to effective products and services. In 2015 TIAA launched a Contingent Worker Diversity program to address an increasing lack of ethnic/racial, generational and gender diversity among resources provided by staffing suppliers. Staffing suppliers are asked to request demographic data (gender, sex, race, ethnicity, veteran status, disability and LGBT status) from all candidates they submit to TIAA for job requisitions. These suppliers are then incentivized to submit diverse slates of candidates in each job requisition increasing the likelihood diverse talent not only receive contingent labor opportunities but are also considered for conversion to full-time employee status.
 
Wells Fargo
Chamber Training Institute
The Wells Fargo Chamber Training Institute (CTI) was created on the premise that as champions of small business, we have a responsibility to develop and empower diverse chamber leaders, providing unique education opportunities that help them grow and build their local organizations. CTI is a free, two-day training for chamber leaders; these leaders return to their communities and apply the expertise gained to foster growth and prosperity of their local business members. Wells Fargo partners with the USHCC, USBC, USPAACC and the NGLCC on this program.  Since its launch in 2010, CTI has allowed more than 900 leaders from 300 chambers across the country to participate.