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


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 two subcommittees that allow members to focus on specific areas of interest or expertise:

  • Policy & Programs Subcommittee – reviews Tollway policies and diversity programs to recommend improvements or develop new policies that address disparities and eliminate barriers to participation
  • 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 
March 18, 2020 - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Illinois Tollway Headquarters
2700 Ogden Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60515

Policy and Programs Subcommittee
Date, time and location: TBD

Workforce Diversity Subcommittee
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


  Q1   Q2        


  Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4


  Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4


  Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4

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.

Illinois Tollway's Calendars

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.

Bid Credit Register

Marketing Edge for Subcontractors

Prime contractors have an additional incentive for teaming with subcontractors that participate in incentive programs: subcontractor-earned bid credits can be added to a prime contractor's bid in order to increase the chances of the team winning a contract as the low bidder.***

*** For subcontractor bid credits to be considered toward a bid, the submission must also include prime contractor bid credits. Bid credits submitted by subcontractors alone cannot be used and will not be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I enter into a Partnering for Growth agreement with subcontractors with whom I am currently working?
    Agreements are possible with current subcontractors, as well as new subcontractors.
  • How long does it take for me to receive my bid credit certificate?
    Typically, bid credit certificates are issued within 30 days.
  • Do I have to use all my bid credits at one time?
    Contractors may use any number of bid credits on a contract bid, up to the total maximum bid credit cap.
  • If I submit bid credits and do not win the bid, do I lose those bid credits? If I win the bid without needing my submitted bid credits, do I lose those bid credits?
    Unused bid credits are not deducted and remain available for future use regardless of why they were not used. If credits were not required to be used in order to win the bid, the full amount of credit indicated remains available for future use.
  • As a subcontractor, can I split my bid credits among multiple primes bidding on contracts?
    Subcontractor bid credits can be split among primes bidding on different contracts. In addition, subcontractors can offer use of bid credits to multiple primes bidding on the same contract.

If the primes are bidding on different contracts, then the subcontractor must split their bid credits among the primes.

If the primes are bidding on the same contract, then only one prime will be the lowest bidder, and so the subcontractor may choose to give all bid credits multiple primes.