Illinois Tollway expanding its Job Order Contracting Program, creating more opportunities for small and diverse businesses

Illinois Tollway expanding its Job Order Contracting Program creating more opportunities for small and diverse businesses

The Illinois Tollway is expanding its successful Job Order Contracting Program, including creating a new component that provides more opportunities for smaller firms to take on construction and repair work for the agency.
The new Small Business Initiative levels the playing field for smaller businesses, allowing them to serve as general contractors handling construction projects costing less than $100,000. Small businesses winning contracts can serve general contractor handling those smaller-scale projects across all or part of the Tollway system.
Contracts for the small business portion of the JOC Program are expected to be awarded later this year.
The Job Order Contracting Program enables the Tollway to complete a large number of facility repairs and individual projects with a single, competitively bid contract, eliminating the additional time and expense of requiring bids and separate contracts for each project.
General contractors competitively bid from a catalog of construction tasks, which rely on pre-set unit prices based on regional market costs. This method of bidding helps the Tollway hold down costs and shortens the time needed to complete a project, while still maintaining quality control over the work and supporting the local construction industry.
Most JOC prime contractors often utilize sub-contractors to carry out some portion of the work in each contract, providing additional small and diverse firms with the opportunity to take part in Tollway projects. With the experience and knowledge they gain working as subcontractors on these projects, small and diverse firms also increase their opportunities to work as prime contractors on future Tollway projects.
Since the Tollway launched the JOC Program seven years ago, more than 1,000 job orders have been completed by contractors participating in that initiative.
Earlier this year, the Tollway awarded eleven new contracts to firms participating in other portions of the JOC program, including handling urgent pavement and guardrail repairs on the Tollway’s roads, making interior and exterior improvements on Tollway buildings, and working on a range of mechanical, electrical, plumbing projects at Tollway facilities. The total value of work included in those contracts is about $38.5 million. 
Each of the projects in those contracts costs at least $100,000. 
Nearly 70 representatives from more than 40 small businesses attended a recent Tollway even to learn about opportunities to take on work being done in the JOC Program and to meet prime contractors handling some of those projects.