Diversity and Strategic Development
In 2011, the Illinois Tollway created the Department of Diversity and Strategic Development to increase access to economic opportunities for disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms, as well as underemployed individuals. The Tollway remains focused on promoting, assisting and ensuring diverse participation in the Move Illinois Program and all aspects of its operations, including contracting, consulting and the supply of goods and services.
The Department of Diversity and Strategic Development works to:
- Increase access to contract opportunities for certified D/M/WBEs through diversity outreach efforts
- Effectively communicate the Tollway's diversity programs and initiatives
- Level the playing field for all businesses through growing competition
- Help to diversify skilled and construction trades
- Monitor Tollway contracts to maximize economic benefit and ensure prompt payment and diversity compliance
The Illinois Tollway provides opportunities for small businesses, D/M/WBEs and underemployed individuals through the following programs:
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
- Business Enterprise Program (BEP)
- Small Business Set-Aside Program (SBSP)
- Veterans Business Program
Professional Services Assistance
- Technical Assistance Programs
- Small Business Initiative
- Earned Credit Program (ECP)
The DBE/EEO capture application provides Tollway contractors the ability to enter new DBE 2114 and EEO 0003 forms, view all forms that have previously been entered for that contract and update any forms for that contract that have not yet been electronically submitted to the Tollway.
The application can be accessed at http://www.tollwaydiversitycapture.com.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee focuses on diversity issues and initiatives, fostering access to sustainable jobs for African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and women. The Committee strives to identify opportunities for certified disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms related to the Tollway's business operations and expenditures.
The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors established the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2015 to create a formal vehicle of communication for the Board to focus on diversity issues and initiatives, create access to sustainable jobs and look at new policies to foster increased opportunities for all sizes and type of businesses. The Committee is composed of members of the Tollway Board and is focused on increasing participation of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, women, veterans and certified disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms in Tollway contracts.
In 2015, the Illinois Tollway created the Diversity Advisory Council to gain outside perspectives and assist the Tollway in building upon its established foundation of inclusion. The Council is composed of representatives of more than 20 advocacy agencies, each with a long history of assisting small, diverse and veteran-owned businesses, as well as individuals seeking workforce assistance and training. The Council includes three subcommittees that allow members to focus on specific areas of interest or expertise:
- Policy Subcommittee – Reviews Tollway policies to recommend improvements or develop new policies that address disparities and eliminate barriers to participation for certified disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms and veteran-owned firms
- Programs Subcommittee – Reviews Tollway diversity programs including technical assistance programs, the Mentor/Protégé Program and the Small Business Initiative to recommend improvements and develop new initiatives
- Workforce Subcommittee – Examines existing workforce development initiatives including the Earned Credit Program to recommend improvements and develop new initiatives
Upcoming Diversity Advisory Council and Subcommittee Meeting Dates
Diversity Advisory Council Meeting
August 2, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.
Chicago South Loop Hotel- State Street Room
11 West 26th Street
Policy Subcommittee Meeting
August 8, 2016 at 12 p.m.
Chicago Urban League
4510 South Michigan Avenue
Programs Subcommittee Meeting
Date and time TBD
Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association
500 Park Boulevard, Suite 1250
Workforce Diversity Subcommittee Meeting
August 23, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Chatham Business Association
800 East 78th Street
The Tollway released a Disparity Study in 2015 which examined its contracting practices and its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program. This study was undertaken as part of a continuing effort by the Tollway to ensure equal opportunities in all aspects of its Move Illinois capital program, including contracting and consulting.
The 2016 Diversity Report Recommendations include the Diversity Advisory Council's opinions of the recommendations proposed in the 2015 Disparity Study, as well as provide additional ideas to increase diverse participation on Tollway contracting and workforce opportunities. The report includes recommendations to assist the Tollway in its efforts to develop, expand and support best practices, programs and initiatives to provide added economic opportunities for a diverse array of businesses and workers.
The Tollway sponsors and participates in outreach and networking events throughout the year. Should your organization wish to include the Tollway in any of your events, or to learn more about activities, please contact the Department of Diversity and Strategic Development at (630) 241-6800.
2016 Construction Resource Fair
The Illinois Tollway is hosting a free resource fair to connect construction firms interested in participating in the Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future with available resources and information. It was open to construction prime contractors and subcontractors including disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms (D/M/WBEs), as well as small and veteran-owned businesses interested in learning about participating on Illinois Tollway contracts.
2016 Career Opportunities Expo: Making A Connection
Illinois Tollway Director Corey Brooks hosted a Career Opportunities Expo at the New Beginning Church. This event provided information about employment readiness and opportunities within the Tollway, with entities that do business with the Tollway and with organizations that help prepare people to perform Tollway work.
2016 Professional Services Networking Event
Tollway representatives provided professional services firms with information about contract opportunities advertising in 2016, including a Move Illinois Program update, upcoming Professional Services Bulletins information and details on diversity programs and initiatives.
2015 Construction Enginnering Goods Services Networking Event
Tollway representatives provided contractors/consultants, subcontractors/subconsultants and goods and services firms of all sizes detailed information about upcoming construction, engineering and procurement opportunities. In addition, diveristy programs and workforce development initiatives were highlighted.
2015 Construction and Professional Services Networking Event
Tollway representatives provided prime contractors, small contractors and subcontractors detailed information about opportunities on upcoming construction and Professional Services Bulletins.
Job Order Contracting Facilities Program Networking Event
Contractors and subcontractors joined us for free networking event to introduce the agency's new Job Order Contracting (JOC) Facilities Program and provide details on how to get involved in the agency's facilities-related projects.
Increase Chances of Winning Construction Contracts Workshops
Contractors and subcontractors joined us to learn more about the Illinois Tollway's Earned Credit Program (ECP), a rewards initiative that allows them to earn bid credits toward future Tollway construction bids when they hire from a pool of qualified, pre-screened job candidates.
Doing Business with the Illinois Tollway
Contractors/consultants, subcontractors/subconsultants and goods and services firms of all sizes, including disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms (D/M/WBEs), as well as small businesses and veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses were invited to attend the event that shared information on upcoming construction, engineering and procurement opportunities, as well as how to participate in those opportunities and Diversity goals and workforce development initiatives.
Illinois Tollway and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) 2015 Construction Networking Event
Contractors and subcontractors of all sizes, including disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms (D/M/WBEs), as well as small, veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses involved in heavy highway and surface transportation construction were invited to benefit from this free event. Attendees met other construction firms and Illinois Tollway and CDOT staff, plus heared about upcoming construction projects and workforce development initiatives.
2015 Veterans Goals Workshop for Contractors
The Illinois Tollway hosted veterans goals workshops to assist prime contractors, subcontractors and veteran-owned businesses in preparing bids for upcoming construction contracts. The workshop focused on how to find veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. The session also provided attendees with a review of the veterans business documentation required for submittal on Tollway construction contracts.
2015 Construction Preview
Firms involved in the heavy highway construction and vertical construction, including general contractors, subcontractors, trucking and specialty construction companies benefited from this free event. They met industry executives and learned about upcoming large contract opportunities for 2015 projects as part of the Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future
2014 Professional Services Networking Event
The Illinois Tollway hosted a free Professional Services Networking Event connecting firms involved in architecture, engineering, design and construction management that would like to play a role in the Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.
Executives from the Tollway explained how professional services firms of all types and sizes can participate in upcoming Tollway projects. Participants also had the opportunity to hear about proposed changes to the Mentor Protégé Program and the new Engineering Internship Program.
2014 Building and Facilities Construction Networking Event
The event educated attendees on:
- Building and facilities construction plans for 2014 in the Illinois Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future
- CDB construction plans
- CDB prequalification process
2014 Construction Networking Event
The event, held on January 9, educated attendees on: