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 business enterprises, as well as underemployed individuals. The Tollway remains focused on promoting, assisting and ensuring diverse participation in all aspects of Tollway 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 disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprises 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 disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprises, as well as underemployed individuals, through the following programs:
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program
- Earned Credit Program (ECP)
- Mentor/Protégé Program
- Small Business Initiative
- Small Contractor Bridge Program
- I-WORK: Building Opportunity Zone
- Technical Assistance Programs
- Employ Illinois
Additionally, the Tollway participates in the following State of Illinois Central Management Services (CMS) small business programs specifically for the procurement of goods and services:
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.
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 will 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:
- 2014 highlights of the Illinois Tollway's 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future
- Large and small construction opportunities
- Available resources for prime and subcontractors
- New small business construction contracts goals
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 Tollway commissioned a study in 2006 to shape the focus of its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program. The study found statistical evidence of business disparities affecting disadvantaged business enterprises in major construction and related professional services procurement categories and data sources.
In 2008, the Tollway commissioned a disparity study of minority- and women-owned business enterprises in highway construction contracting and professional services industries and an analysis of disadvantaged business enterprises. Recommendations included in the study are currently under review by the Tollway.