The PIPE Program
(Progress, Insight & Performance Education)

Program Overview

The PIPE Program (Progress, Insight & Performance Education), a collaboration between Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council and the University of Phoenix, is designed to train attendees to optimize their business performance. PIPE supplements employee business skills through exercises, lectures and real-world experiences. Business owners and their employees will gain tools, techniques, and business process understanding to set effective strategies. The courses are designed for individuals who already have business knowledge and experience but would like that knowledge to be deepened.

Participant Eligibility

In order to participate an individual must come from a company that is certified as a Minority business enterprise through NMSDC, City of Chicago or Cook County, or certified through the State of Illinois BEP program. The program is open to all employees but recommended for officers or key employees who would benefit from sharpening their business skills. The courses are designed for individuals who already have basic business knowledge and experience.

Company eligibility

  • Company may only send individuals meeting all participant eligibility requirements
  • Company must be at least 3 years old
  • Company must have at least $350,000 in gross annual revenue for 2016

Overview and benefits

This eight week program is designed to provide the individual with the skills and knowledge needed to optimize their business.

  • Week 1, (Jan. 16th, 2018) Strategic Planning Skills: Optimization starts with effective planning. Whether you are creating your first strategic plan or reviewing the strategic direction of an organization, this course will train you to set effective goals for an effective strategic plan.
  • Week 2, (Jan. 23rd, 2018) Key Performance Indicators: This course will introduce the concept of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the role they play in monitoring and ensuring the success of the business strategy, applying them first to the strategic plan goals created in Week 1.
  • Week 3, (Jan. 30th, 2018) Business Law and Ethics: Pausing in the pursuit of setting strategy, participants review how laws and ethics play into business decisions. Making the right decisions for the right reasons is critical to smart business growth. The course will also briefly discuss how business law and ethics plays into the strategy of acquisitions.
  • Week 4, (Feb. 6th, 2018) Strategic Thinking: This course reviews elements of the strategic thinking process, also known as critical thinking, including how to use business intelligence data to drive strategic decisions.
  • Week 5, (Feb. 13th, 2018) Project Management: This review of concepts of project management and its related skills helps attendees to envision managing certain strategic goals as a formal projects that can be monitored and measured.
  • Week 6, (Feb. 20th, 2018) Supply Chain: This course on the concepts of supply chain explores its importance in your strategy and how your supply chain plays into planning and monitoring goals.
  • Week 7, (Feb. 27th, 2018) Supply Chain II: This deeper look into the manufacturing and service operations in the supply chain, along with a review of logistics, gives a more nuanced understanding for more effective decisions.
  • Week 8, (March 6th, 2018) Process Improvement: After putting together the concepts taught throughout the PIPE Program, this final class reviews the concept of process improvement. With tools and techniques of process improvement, participants will be empowered to get the ball rolling for business optimization.

Class Schedule

Class sessions will meet once a week on Tuesdays from 3pm-7pm at Chicago MSDC offices. The program will begin on January 16th, 2018 and run until March 6th, 2018. The corporate meet and greet will be optional for each participant. The corporate meet & greet will take place on March 8th, 2018. The program price per individual is $2500. The registration will close once all seats have been filled to a capacity of 20 students.

Contact Information

Stefanie Garcia, Program Manager
Phone: 312-755-2554
Fax: 312-755-8890
E-mail Stefanie Garcia

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