SOURCE: Schneider Electric

October 26, 2009 09:00 ET

Schneider Electric and City of Chicago Partner for M/WBE Contractor Opportunity Conference

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - October 26, 2009) - Schneider Electric, in partnership with the City of Chicago's Department of Procurement Services, today announced it will a host a free Minority and Women-owned Business Entity (M/WBE) contractor conference in Chicago on October 29, 2009, from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Built on the success of a similar event held in Houston last November, the "Retrofit Chicago" conference will provide an overview of Schneider Electric business opportunities available throughout the Chicago area, information about the city and Schneider Electric subcontractor certification processes, as well as education related to energy efficiency and sustainability. M/WBE attendees will also have the chance to network with other local government entities as well as a variety of professional and industry associations.

Both Schneider Electric and the City of Chicago have made public commitments to reducing energy consumption, walking the talk of environmental stewardship and combating the effects of global climate change through respective partnerships with the Clinton Foundation's Climate Initiative (CCI) and the CCI's C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Together, these thought leaders recognize the answer to our global energy crisis requires a multifaceted approach and a diverse workforce. Part of the approach involves the implementation of energy efficiency measures within commercial buildings, one of many green offerings by Schneider Electric. These turnkey solutions reduce energy consumption and remedy operational inefficiencies and are often funded through guaranteed energy savings. The process, referred to as Performance Contracting, can encompass mechanical system replacements, lighting retrofits, controls system upgrades, water system improvements, renewable energy resources and smart, energy-savings strategies. With performance contracting opportunities throughout the country and specifically within Illinois and Indiana, this conference is one recruitment strategy Schneider Electric is employing to meet the demand for specialized contractors.

"Based on the success of the Houston seminar with more than 70 M/WBE vendors attending, our Chicago conference will offer even more M/WBE contractors the opportunity to participate in energy conservation projects," said Shon Anderson, vice president of Energy Solutions Sales, Schneider Electric. "The conference will highlight the real business opportunities that exist within the green economy and most importantly, what local contractors can do to be a part of it all."

"This conference provides opportunities for minority and women contractors in both government and private sectors that ultimately impact the workforce with green industry jobs; I think this is great," said Chicago Board of Education President, Michael Scott.

A few of the morning's speakers include:

--  Katie McClain, Chicago City Director, Clinton Climate Initiative
--  Carrie M. Austin, Chicago Alderman/Committeeman and LaVerne Hall,
    Business Diversity Manager, Chicago Public Schools
--  Mark Hands, Managing Deputy Procurement Officer, Chicago Department of
    Procurement Services

The free event will be held on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Hermann Hall from 8 a.m. until noon and is open to M/WBE contractors specializing in businesses ranging from electrical and lighting retrofit services to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and renewable energy offerings. For detailed event information, visit or e-mail Also, follow @SchneiderNA on Twitter and tweet live from the event using #MWBE.

About Schneider Electric

As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes, building automation, and data centres/networks, as well as a broad presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, and efficient, the company's 114,000 employees achieved sales of more than 18.3 billion euros in 2008, through an active commitment to help individuals and organisations "Make the most of their energy™."

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