How can we help you?
|Business Enterprise Program|
|Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program|
|Partnering for Growth|
|CMS Veterans Business Program|
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program
About the Program
The Illinois Tollway extends our DBE program to include disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprises (D/M/WBE) on both construction and professional services contracts that are generated by the Tollway's Engineering Department.
Diversity and Strategic Development Team
- Establishes specific DBE contract goals on construction and professional service contracts
- Reviews and approves contractor utilization plans, including certification verification
- Provides information on reporting requirements during pre-construction meetings
- Reviews data submitted by prime contractors regarding payments made to D/M/WBE subcontractors
- Performs contract compliance site visits
- Tracks and reports DBE payment data
- Monitors mentor/protégé agreements and achievements for the Partnering for Growth Program
- Sponsors or participates in various networking and outreach events to raise awareness of the DBE Program
Certifications are accepted from the following agencies
- Illinois Unified Certification Program (ILUCP) – DBE Certifications (includes Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace and City of Chicago)
- City of Chicago Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification
- Cook County MBE/WBE Certification
- U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program Certification
To review the certification status of any firm, or to access to the DBE Program Certification Application to become certified, click either of the links below:
|Illinois Department of Transportation United Certification Program|
|U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development Program|
|City of Chicago Certification and Compliance System (C2)|
|Cook County Government|
Business Enterprise Program (BEP)
About the BEP
The BEP promotes the economic development of diverse businesses—those owned by minorities, women and persons with disabilities. This program applies only to the procurement of goods and services.
To participate, businesses must meet the following criteria:
- Certified with the CMS BEP program at time of bid
- 51 percent owned and controlled by a minority, woman or disabled person
- Owner must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien
- Annual gross sales must be less than $75 million
|For more information on the BEP|
|Apply for BEP certification|
|Search the BEP Vendors Directory|
|Register to do business with the State|
Other Agency Certifications Recognized
Note that the State of Illinois has a mechanism in place for recognition of certifications issued by the following other agencies:
- Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (ChicagoMSDC)
- Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA)
- City of Chicago
- Cook County
- Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
- Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council
- Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)
To continue your annual BEP certification, complete the Business Enterprise Program Annual Certification Renewal.
Veterans Business Program
State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Veterans Business Program
The Illinois Tollway supports veterans and service-disabled veterans by assisting them when competing for Tollway contracts. To that end, the Tollway is evaluating all agency solicitations for inclusion of veteran-owned small business (VOSB) or service-disabled, veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) goals.
Criteria to participate in the Veterans Business Program include:
- Currently certified with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services as VOSB or SDVOSB
- 51 percent owned and controlled by a qualified veteran living in Illinois
- Annual gross sales under $75 million
Vendors must be certified with CMS as a VOSB or SDVOSB at time of submittal on a Tollway project.
|Veterans Business Program Resources|
Partnering for Growth
The Illinois Tollway has recently expanded the Partnering for Growth Program (P4G) to include construction firms.
P4G encourages contractors and professional services firms to assist disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms and veteran- owned small businesses (VOSBs) in remaining self-sufficient, competitive and profitable by serving as mentors providing meaningful instruction, to DBE/ VOSB protégés in areas including:
- Capacity building and prequalification
- Contract documents, bids, proposals and/or statements of interest
- Project management and quality assurance/quality control plan development
- Change orders, claim filing, dispute resolution and scheduling
- Accounting procedures such as cost of labor, production and overhead
- Business operations including human resources, information technology, insurance and bonding, invoicing and marketing
P4G for Construction
P4G for Construction is term-based rather than contract-based, enabling participants to continue working on areas of development without being contingent upon contract awards, project milestones or completion dates. Contractors receive virtual bid credits that may be banked and used to offset future bids on Tollway contracts for participating as mentors under term-based agreements ranging in duration from 12 to 36 months.
The Tollway’s Technical Assistance Program providers conduct assessments of all prospective protégés, identifying areas of growth and providing training and support to supplement the efforts of mentors. Technical Assistance providers also coordinate opportunities to connect prime contractors with prospective DBE and/or VOSB protégés.
How to Participate
P4G for Professional Services
P4G for Professional Services is contract based. Under this program, the protégé works on a specific Tollway contract with the mentor on agreed-upon scope designed to help expand the protégé’s technical capabilities and develop skills needed to work with the Tollway. Consultants receive credit toward advertised DBE and/or VOSB goals by participating as mentors on a specific Tollway contract.
Prospective protégés may market their firms to potential mentors in connection with a Tollway professional services solicitation. Mentors may include the P4G relationship in the statement of interest for a specific professional services solicitation.
How to Participate
- Review the P4G for Professional Services guidelines and program documents.
- Market your business to potential mentors prior to the Tollway’s Professional Services Bulletins in order to forge a P4G relationship to be included on the mentor’s statement of interest.
All parties involved stand to gain by participating in P4G:
- Both mentors and protégés benefit from newly formed business relationships.
- Construction mentors earn virtual bid credits that may give a competitive edge in pursuing Tollway construction contracts.
- Professional services mentors earn credit toward contractual DBE or VOSB commitments.
- Protégés gain experience and valuable assistance to improve business practices.
- Tollway increases the pool of firms to support Move Illinois and fosters competition in the marketplace.
The Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Program is designed to prepare established firms including disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms, veteran-owned small businesses as well as small businesses to participate as prime contractors on highway and vertical construction contracts.
Participants will receive comprehensive, customized business development assistance to build financial understanding and business plan development for increased business stability and growth in the transportation-related construction industry. Services are customized to the assessed strengths, challenges and needs of participating firms. This includes education, guidance and feedback on general business and construction-specific operations, including strategic planning and assistance with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) pre-qualification application.
How to apply:
- Submit a complete Technical Assistance Program application to your preferred provider. Click on the provider logos for contact information.
- An assessment will be conducted by the provider to determine applicant's needs and review program guidelines.
- A technical assistance plan will be developed to assist participants with business needs.
Applications who do not meet program criteria will be referred to other resources.
|Program Services||Technical Assistance Application||Technical Assistance Brochure|
Small Business Initiative
The Illinois Tollway's Small Business Initiative is intended to increase opportunities for small companies to participate in the agency's Move Illinois Program.
The initiative puts small businesses in a position to succeed and grow as prime contractors by:
- Identifying select construction contracts, generally with values of approximately $1 million, that can be set aside specifically for small businesses
- Establishing small business goals for select construction contracts on a project-by-project basis
To qualify for participation in the Small Business Initiative, firms must meet the following criteria:
- Gross revenues of $14 million or less annually
- Register in the state's Small Business Set-Aside Program at ipg.vendorreg.com
- Meet specifications that may include prequalification with either the IDOT or Illinois CapitalDevelopment Board, which will be determined on a project-by-project basis
Opportunities for Small Businesses
This initiative builds on the Illinois Tollway's efforts to increase opportunities for businesses of all sizes. The Illinois Tollway already has been working to unbundle larger contracts into several smaller jobs, as well as actively defining small contract opportunities in amounts under $5 million.
Small Business Set-Aside Program
The Small Business Set-Aside Program promotes contracting with small Illinois companies. To be eligible, companies must meet the following revenue criteria:
- Retail or service businesses: less than $8 million
- Wholesale: less than $13 million
- Construction: less than $14 million
- Manufacturing companies: 250 employees or less
For more information:
This program has specific benefits for providers of goods and services:
- 673 supply/service classifications
- Awards less than $80,000 are set aside for registered small businesses
- Race- and gender-neutral, ensuring that businesses of all types and sizes have the opportunity to participate
- All state procurements are considered for the set aside program
To be eligible, businesses must be registered in the state's Small Business Set-Aside Program and may need to be prequalified by IDOT.
|Search the Small Business Vendors Directory|
|Frequently asked questions about the Small Business Set-Aside Program|
In collaboration with the Federal highway Administration, IDOT initiated the Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) in an effort to provide training and skill-improvement opportunities to assure the increased participation of minority groups, disadvantaged persons and women in all phases of the highway construction industry. HCCTP emphasizes life-long learning and provides opportunities for further education and assistance to improve employability and is administered by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).
Earned Credit Program
The ECP offers contractors and subcontractors a chance to earn bid credits toward future Tollway construction bids when they hire workers from a pool of qualified, pre-screened candidates that includes minorities, women, eligible offenders and exonerated individuals, veterans and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) eligible individuals. ECP training partners operate pre-apprenticeship construction training programs, pre-screen job seekers and then provide resumes to construction firms with current job opportunities.
There are more than 30 construction contractors and subcontractors who hold active Illinois Tollway ECP certificates. More than 360 ECP workers have been hired and employed – most of whom have gained union status – and have earned more than $18 million in wages since the program began in 2007.
ECP Hiring Portal
This portal provides an interactive tool which allows contractors to review, select and contact eligible ECP candidates. Designed to streamline the ECP hiring process, this portal contains the candidate’s resume, certificates and completed safety training courses. Candidate information is provided and maintained by trade organizations, advocacy and workforce training agencies.
QUESTIONS: Contact the Illinois Tollway Diversity Department online or call 630.241.6800 with questions about this service.
We encourage contractors to log in regularly, as the database is routinely updated with new applicants.
How the Earned Credit Program Works - For Job Seekers
ECP Candidate Eligibility
ECP candidates must meet the following criteria in order to participate in the ECP program:
- Meet WIOA eligibility requirements as determined by Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)
- Have construction experience or training via an ECP training partner or other pre-apprenticeship program recognized by the Illinois Department of Labor
Contact a Tollway ECP Training Partner to become an ECP job candidate
ECP training partners operate construction pre-apprenticeship training programs which include drug testing, education verification and preparatory classes as well as workplace readiness skills such as resume preparation and interviewing techniques.
The Tollway receives resumes of pre-screened, qualified job applicants and WIOA eligibility approval from the ECP training partner. The Tollway then shares ECP job candidate information with contractors and subcontractors who have requested ECP candidate referrals. Contractors and subcontractors conduct the interviews and make the hiring decisions.
Equal Employment Opportunity Program
On construction contracts, the Illinois Tollway adheres to federal workforce requirements and works in conjunction with local unions and awarded contractors to facilitate achievement of all workforce goals.
Monitoring and reporting is a joint effort among awarded contractors, construction managers and diversity staff to ensure that:
- Workforce data in the form of weekly certified payroll reports submitted by contractors to constructionmanagers is reviewed to confirm achievement of established EEO goals (19.6 percent minority/6.9 percent female).
- Periodic site visits are performed to confirm presence of workforce as reported.
- Referrals of qualified workers are available to contractors seeking assistance in meeting their workforce goals.
Contractors are encouraged to visit the Tollway's Earned Credit Program section for information on how contractors and subcontractors can earn bid credits to make their bids more competitive while augmenting the construction industry workforce with qualified hires.