Diversity and Strategic Development Overview


Vision Statement

The Illinois Tollway Department of Diversity and Strategic Development is a driving force for increasing economic opportunities in the diverse communities we serve.


The Illinois Tollway created the Department of Diversity and Strategic Development with the mission to increase access to economic opportunities for disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms, as well as small and veteran-owned businesses and historically 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 and diversify the pool of businesses and individuals participating in contract opportunities. Activities include:

  • Implementation of policy and programs
  • Assistance with contract compliance documentation, monitoring and reporting
  • Competition and capacity building through Technical Assistance, the Small Business Initiative and Partnering for Growth programs
  • Diversification of skilled and construction trades via workforce development and training
  • Engagement of the community through advocacy, outreach and networking events

Read about the Tollway's Diversity Program Accomplishments.

Strategic leadership

Diversity And Inclusion Committee (D&I)

The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors established the D&I Committee to allow the Board to focus on diversity issues and policies, create access to sustainable jobs and foster increased opportunities for firms of all sizes and types. The Committee is composed of members of the Tollway Board and strives to increase participation of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, women, veterans and certified D/M/WBE firms and individuals on Tollway contracts.

View Committee presentations

View Committee meeting schedule

Earned Credit Program (ECP) Advisory Council

The Illinois Tollway created the ECP Council, which includes prime contractors and subcontractors, union representatives and training partners. Their mission is to promote the ECP program, refer candidates for hiring by contractors, identify candidate training needs and foster union partnerships.

View List of ECP Advisory Council Members

Diversity Advisory Council (DAC)

The DAC was created to gain outside perspectives and assist the Tollway in building upon its established foundation of inclusion. The Council is composed of representatives from nearly 30 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
  • Programs Subcommittee – reviews Tollway diversity programs 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.

View the DAC policies and procedures

View the DAC member list

View the most recent DAC meeting presentation

Diversity Advisory Council Meetings

Diversity Advisory Council
Date, time and location: TBD

Workforce Diversity Subcommittee
Date, time and location: TBD

Policy and Programs Combined Subcommittee
Date, time and location: TBD

ECP Advisory Council Meeting

Date, time and location: TBD



Disparity Study Report

The Tollway's 2015 Disparity Study 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.

Read the 2015 Disparity Study



Diversity Recommendations Report

The 2016 Diversity Recommendations Report includes the DAC's opinions of the recommendations proposed in the 2015 Disparity Study, as well as additional ideas to increase diverse participation on Tollway contracting and workforce. This report assists 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.

Read the Diversity Recommendations Report

Diversity Performance Reports


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Illinois Tollway Diversity Report

Outreach and Networking Events

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.

Event Photo Gallery


Illinois Tollway's Calendars
2018 Outreach and Networking Event Presentations
February 2018 Professional Services Networking Event Presentation

Bid Credit Incentives

Illinois Tollway offers contractors and subcontractors the opportunity to earn bid credits by participating in select construction assistance programs. Bid credits may be used toward future Tollway construction bids in order to lower their bid amount and increase the chances of winning the contract as the low bidder.

Current Bid Credit Incentive Programs:

Read the Special Provision for Bid Credit Incentive Programs.