Diversity and Strategic Development

Tollway Diversity Logo

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 businesses (D/M/WBEs), 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.

Department Objectives

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

Diversity Programs

The Illinois Tollway provides opportunities for small businesses, D/M/WBEs and underemployed individuals through the following programs:

Goal Programs

Professional Services Incentives

Construction Assistance

Technical Assistance Programs

Small Business Initiative


Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program
Employ Illinois

Outreach and Networking Events

2015 Outreach and Networking Event List

Outreach and Networking Photo Gallery

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.

Past Events

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:

  • 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

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Equal Employment Opportunity Capture Application

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.

Related Tollway Links



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.

Read the study

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.

Read the study