Earned Credit Program

The Earned Credit Program (ECP) is a bid credit incentive program that allows any construction contractor or subcontractor to earn bid credits that may be used toward future Tollway construction bids. ECP is a race- gender-neutral program.

Currently, we only offer ECP bid credits for candidates who were previously approved for ECP. The approval of any new bid credit candidate will be conducted through the ConstructionWorks program.

For assistance, please contact the diversity department by sending an email here or here.

Bid credits are virtual dollar credits earned and banked to be used on future Tollway construction bids to lower base bid amounts and increase the chances of winning the contract as the lowest bidder.

Bid credits are earned for each dollar paid to ECP workers on any Tollway construction project and any construction project in Illinois.

Participating contractors and subcontractors earn bid credits at the following rates:

  • Operating engineers and structural steel ironworkers: .50 cents on the dollar
  • Skilled trades and fabricators –.40 cents on the dollar
  • Laborers – .30 cents on the dollar
  • First-time ECP hires earn an additional $5,000 bid credit bonus after accumulating 160 work hours.

Note: Bid credits are incentives offered through three Diversity Programs, and bid credits are combined to use. These programs are ConstructionWorks (CW), Earned Credit Program (ECP), and Partnering for Growth (P4G). Here, you can see an overview of all three programs.

Active Bid Credit Certificate Register


To get started

Register to use the Tollway's Hiring Portal to hire an employment candidate and start receiving this amazing incentive here.

Once the Tollway has approved your registration, you can begin reviewing our available employment candidates. This interactive online tool allows contractors to review, select, and contact eligible candidates.

If you don’t find what you want or want individualized assistance, email us here.


Submitting bid credits with your bid

Simply include your bid credit certificate with your bid submission to lower your base bid and increase your chances of being awarded a Tollway contract. For additional information, email us here.


Active Bid Credit Certificate Holders

More than 30 construction contractors and subcontractors hold active Illinois Tollway ECP certificates. They can be found on the Active Bid Credit Certificate Register. Since the program’s inception, more than 650 ECP workers have been hired and have earned their employers over $14 million in Bid Credits.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. If I already have ECP eligible workers on my payroll, can they be used to earn bid credits?
    Yes, any ECP eligible construction worker already on your payroll may earn ECP credits for your firm. Additionally, you may earn retroactive bid credits for up to three months.
  2. Do ECP hires have to be union members?
    Contractors hiring ECP workers should consult the agency’s contract specifications on a case-by-case basis to see if union workers are required.
  3. If I do not know my workers' eligibility, who can I contact?
    You can email the Diversity Department here.