U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance
ASBO International Strategic Partner
ASBO is a proud co-founder of U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance
—the leading national purchasing cooperative that reduces the cost of goods and services for schools. By aggregating the nationwide purchasing power of public agencies and education institutions, U.S. Communities provides school solutions through a broad line of competitively solicited contracts. Our suppliers have committed to providing their lowest overall public agency pricing as well as delivering comprehensive solutions and value-added services.
Hear a Purchasing Supervisor’s Perspective
Purchasing Supervisor Jeff LaPorta explains why Hartford County Public Schools has purchased through U.S. Communities for over a decade!
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The program offers:
- No User Fees – no costs or fees to participate.
- Best Overall Supplier Government Pricing – by combining the potential cooperative purchasing power of more than 90,000 public agencies, you are able to access the best overall supplier government pricing.
- Quality Brands – thousands of the best brands in a wide variety of categories, services and solutions.
- Integrity and Experience – unlike other government cooperative purchasing organizations, U.S. Communities national government purchasing cooperative is founded by 4 national sponsors, including ASBO International, and over 90 state, city, and regional organizations.
- Oversight by Public Purchasing Professionals – our third party audits on contracts ensure that program pricing commitments are met, with benchmark analyses against other suppliers and retailers to guarantee participants the best overall value.
have been competitively solicited, evaluated, and awarded by an impartial lead public agency in accordance with their public purchasing rules and regulations. Applying these competitive principles satisfies the competitive bid requirements of most state and local government agencies.
For general information, visit the U.S. Communities website
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Proudly Sponsoring the Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship
The Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship is awarded annually to 18 school business professionals who have been in the profession for five years or less. Recipients earn a $2,000 scholarship to attend the Annual Meeting & Expo. Committed to supporting new school business officials and their professional development, ASBO International Strategic Partner U.S. Communities proudly sponsors the Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship.
Face to Face with Jennifer Sulentic, U.S. Communities
There’s no getting around it. To properly serve students and staff, schools need a lot of “stuff.” From athletic and playground equipment to food products, and from janitorial, flooring, and other supplies to office equipment and beyond, there are countless needs. Acquiring each one takes time and effort. Luckily, U.S. Communities—which was founded in part by ASBO International—is on hand to help.
What do they do and how do they do it? U.S. Communities program manager Jennifer Sulentic sums it up well. It is the leading national government purchasing cooperative that reduces the cost of goods and services by aggregating the purchasing power of public agencies across the entire country. By doing so, they can provide competitively priced procurement resources (contracts) and solutions to many different entities, including K–12 school districts.
U.S. Communities stands out from other cooperatives for several reasons, including its rigorous supplier commitments that ensure the best overall value. “Our supplier partners commit their absolute best value through U. S. Communities,” Jennifer says. “This means you won’t find a better value with the same company through another cooperative or negotiate better pricing through your own request for proposal (RFP).”
In addition, an advisory board of trusted procurement professionals provides oversight and overall direction for the cooperative. “We don’t do any bids or hold any contracts,” Jennifer adds. “They are all held by a public entity—people subject to the same procurement laws—and that means credibility.”
Jennifer has been with U.S. Communities for five years, and she loves being a liaison between public entities and supplier partners. “Whether it’s a school district or an entire city, my role is the same—to assist, answer questions, and connect public entities to supplier partners who have solutions that can also save them time and money,” she says.
Needs can be expected or emergent—either way, Jennifer says, “We’re here to help.” For example, she recalls a district that needed to replace school roofs before the start of the new school year. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a “consultant,” the superintendent suggested taking advantage of the district’s registration with U.S. Communities, and from there, Jennifer stepped in to connect the district with the awarded roofing supplier. The contract for materials and related services was competitively bid by a lead public agency, needs were assessed for free, a local installer was utilized, and the roof installation was completed efficiently and transparently.
Jennifer says the nonprofit is always looking for new ways to support schools and school business officials, so it was a natural decision for U.S. Communities to sponsor ASBO International’s Emerging School Business Leaders Scholarship. “It’s great to help schools in ways other than cooperative contracting,” Jennifer says. “For me, this is fun. Quite often I hear customers say, ‘Wow! I didn’t know this program could make my life so much easier!’ It’s a wonderful feeling.”