FirstEnergy maintains a proactive Supplier Diversity Program as an extension of our corporate commitment to promote diversity at every level of our company. We recognize that supporting diverse suppliers provides value to our customers and strengthens the economic health of local communities, and we strive to make our supplier base as diverse as our customer base.
Our Supplier Diversity Program provides opportunities in a competitive environment to certified and traditionally underused businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and other such groups. We continue to build our network of diverse vendors and our relationships with advocacy groups that support these businesses. In 2018, 31% of our diverse supplier spend was achieved with vendors in our service territory.
By prioritizing inclusivity and creating sound business relationships, we strengthen economic development and viability for all stakeholders. Diversifying our vendor base enhances competition among suppliers, yielding more innovative products and services as well as improved reliability and lower costs.