Skip to main content

Business Diversity

business diversity team

DOC is committed to providing opportunities for a diverse supplier base to participate in the procurement process. (Photo courtesy of DOC Communications Office). View Photo Gallery

The Department of Corrections is committed to providing opportunities for small businesses, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned business enterprises.


The Department of Corrections (DOC) purchases goods to operate both prisons and offices, contracts for services to incarcerated individuals, and contracts for construction. The DOC encourages all companies, individuals, and non-profits to bid on opportunities to collaborate and create a better Washington. To do business with the State of Washington and DOC, an organization must be an approved vendor with the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) DOC is committed to providing opportunities for a diverse supplier base to participate in the procurement process. The DOC is actively participating in the expansion of purchasing from minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned small business vendors as suppliers and supporting equity as well as inclusive prosperity in a state in which all people share equal rights and opportunities for growth.

DOC believes this work matters and that small businesses are essential to the success of our communities and accomplishing our mission. The Department is uniquely positioned to work with small businesses in the communities where we have a justice presence. Our values drive our belief that diversity creates an environment that values the differences of all members which contributes to a stronger, more successful organization. That inclusion further welcomes, respects, supports and values our business partners which contributes to our efforts to ensure equity in the procurement space.

What Our Vendors Have to Say

"Washington State Department of Corrections is a great client that treats contractors as valued partners. They are tough but fair. Their commitment to achieving small business, SDVOSB, and diversity goals is genuine and very much appreciated. Everything in the field went well. Expectations were well communicated and everything went smoothly. We’d be happy to assist with other projects, and would love to chase something larger with HVAC, Plumbing, or General Construction." — Dennis F., Vet First Mechanical President & CEO

"The DOC Business Diversity Program has been excellent to work with. A member of our purchasing team also really appreciates working with you!" — Sarah R., Birch Equipment CEO

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Business Diversity Office at the Department of Corrections, they are, without a doubt, a trailblazer in leading the Department of Correction's purposeful relationship alignment with diverse businesses. We work with several agencies and recognize that the Department of Corrections is essential and impactful to our community as a whole. While other agencies strategize about disparity studies and outreach meetings, DOC is making the most critical effort by contracting with organizations like ours. They are participating in more than the traditional community outreach by driving actionable revenue with our businesses. In addition, their efforts have afforded our organization new opportunities with DOC and it is our hope and effort that our future remains bright as our relationship continues to expand." — Malcolm W., Ovation Technology CEO

The buyer sent out a RFQ, which included a note that there was no need to respond if the contractor could not fulfill the RFQ. Whenever we get a RFQ, even if I can not quote, I always take the opportunity to introduce myself and thank the person for considering our company and to consider us in the future. This is one of the few times that a buyer has ever reached out to thank us. That made my day. This is reflective of a great team of people at the Department of Corrections. — Tom & Juanita G., Grace Premier Fitness and Wellness Products DBA Black Iron Strength

Certification & Registration

To do business with the Department of Corrections (DOC) or any other department in the State of Washington, minority-owned and women-owned firms should get state certified through the Washington Office of Minority and Women Owned Business (OMWBE). Veteran-owned firms should get state certified through the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA). Additionally, all businesses seeking to do business with DOC must be registered in the Washington's Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) Registration & Search Tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is business diversity in contracting?

Minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned firms are currently severely under-represented in state contracting. Ensuring that more diverse firms have the opportunity to participate in state procurement processes increases competition and results in better value for taxpayer dollars; increases the breadth and depth of the supply chain; and leverages the capabilities and talents that come from a larger pool of diverse contractors. The success of minority, women and veteran owned businesses rooted in Washington make our state’s economy and our families more resilient, strengthens our communities, and improves the quality of life for all Washingtonians.

2. What’s the goal of the Department of Corrections’ Business Diversity program?

The Department of Corrections is committed to the goal of increasing equity and inclusion in our contracting processes for minority, women and veteran-owned Washington businesses. We continually work to improve access for, and remove barriers to, contracting opportunities for diverse businesses to help ensure equal opportunity in contracting for all Washington owned firms. We believe that providing opportunities for individuals to grow their businesses in their own state and community only leads to the betterment of a wider array of people and families.

3. What are the benefits to doing business with the Department of Corrections?

Washington businesses play a significant role in our agency by supplying the goods and services that we require to fulfill our mission. When businesses work with the Department of Corrections they become partners in our mission to “Improve public safety by positively changing lives”. We believe in constant improvement in our processes and by welcoming the insight from populations historically overlooked it could allow the Department of Corrections to grow into a future that benefits all Washingtonians.

4. How do I get started to do business with the Department of Corrections?

Minority-owned and women-owned firms get state certified through the Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises. Veteran-owned firms get state certified through the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs. Additionally, all businesses seeking to do business with Department of Corrections must be registered in the Washington Electronic Business System (WEBS).

After getting registered and certified, contact us and review the informational links below. Reach out to the Department of Corrections to review our forecast, ask questions about how and what we buy, and submit your firm’s capability statement to our Business Diversity office.

5. Where can I find opportunities to do business with the Department of Corrections?

There are a few ways to find opportunities to do business with us:

(1) The Department of Corrections buyers first check the Statewide Contracts awarded by the state to determine if goods or services are available through the vendors on those contracts. There are approximately 190 Statewide Contracts awarded by the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) awarded to over 1,500 businesses for a variety of frequently purchased goods and services from which state agencies may place orders. Businesses should review the Statewide Contracts and consider competing for them when they are resolicited;

(2) Buyers may make direct awards to minority, women or veteran owned firms up to $40,000 via the Direct Buy program. To qualify, businesses must make sure they are state certified through OWMBE or DVA and registered in WEBS (see FAQ 4 above). Businesses are encouraged to submit capability statements to the Department of Corrections and see our forecast page to view our Equipment List (annual list of equipment we plan to buy for our facilities statewide);

(3) Buyers post competitive solicitations on WEBS. Businesses may set up a WEBS account and receive automatic notice of relevant opportunities and/or they may view Bid Openings or monitor the Public Bid Calendar on the WEBS site;

(4) Buyers interested in becoming a supplier to Correctional Industries may contact CI at their contact information below.

6. How do I supply a capability statement?

Capability statements can be emailed to the Department of Correction's Business Diversity office. If you need assistance with creating a capability statement for your business, there are organizations that can provide assistance to small businesses. Two small business partners, Washington State Procurement Assistance Center (PTAC) and the Washington State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offer free assistance and each has locations throughout the state.

7. What does the Department of Corrections most commonly procure?

The Department of Corrections regularly needs to fix, update, or repair our facilities to ensure safety and security of the incarcerated individuals and the communities in which these facilities reside. A wide array of products and services are needed to keep this department functioning as intended. This need provides opportunities to seek vendors that may provide niche products and services that can satisfy our requirements. The Department of Corrections is responsible for whole-life care for our incarcerated populations which include aging care, dietary accommodations, as well as disability accommodations. Our goal is to provide the best possible care and service to individuals in our care for the best value to the taxpayers.

The Department of Corrections buys supplies, both durable and non-durable goods, and equipment; professional and technical services; IT hardware and software, and IT training and consulting services. Other goods and services the Department purchases include, ammunition, educational and training services, electrical services and supplies, facility maintenance supplies, heavy duty and passenger vehicles, HVAC equipment and services, industrial equipment, supplies, and hardware, janitorial services, kitchen and food service equipment and supplies, landscaping equipment, office supplies, security equipment, windows and flooring. Additional supplies we are looking for include: barber and hair salon supplies, mail room equipment and supplies, recycling equipment, wood and metal working machinery, and security gear (duty belts, holsters and badging equipment).

Business Opportunities

The Department of Corrections is committed to providing opportunities for small businesses, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned business enterprises. It’s a new way of doing business. For us it’s about building trusting relationships and engagement with the business in Washington State and in communities where we have facilities. We encourage businesses to review the programs, resources, and information to learn how to do business with us.

Department of Corrections

Department of Enterprise Services

Office of Minority & Women's Business Enterprises



Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) policies that apply to business diversity and the contracting and purchasing process.

Laws & Regulations

Below are the federal laws, state laws (RCWs) and regulations (WACs) that apply to and/or relate to business diversity.

Executive Orders

Revised Code of Washington (RCW)


Below are Department of Corrections publications that apply to business diversity.

Resource Links