Diversity and Strategic Development

 

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

 

Inclusion is the Foundation of Everything We Do

As an economic engine for the region, the Tollway provides small, diverse and veteran businesses and individuals with opportunities to grow and succeed through our training programs, strategic partnerships and investments in infrastructure.

Diversity Programs

Our programs support long term success through training and business development opportunities, as well as a multitude of economic opportunities created by investments in infrastructure and the resources to ensure continued growth in a high-demand industry. We are committed to a collaborative effort that provides access, ensures participation and ultimately expands future growth and advancement.

The Tollway believes in opening the doors for individuals and firms interested in doing business with the Tollway and its contractors. Our access programs provide development opportunities to participate and ultimately success on Tollway projects and contracts.

Fostering inclusion at every level is fundamental to our diversity efforts. The Tollway creates economic opportunities and jobs for diverse participants on projects by setting aspirational goals that support small, diverse and veteran firms and workers.

The Tollway stands ready to help firms continue to advance and achieve their next level of success through business assistance and training opportunities.

Need Business Assistance?

Technical Assistance Program

The Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Program is designed to prepare emerging and established transportation-related construction firms including disadvantaged, minority-and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms, service-disabled,veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB) and veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) as well as small businesses to participate on highway and vertical construction contracts.

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Partnering for Growth

The Illinois Tollway’s Partnering for Growth (P4G) Program encourages prime consultants and contractors 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 businesses. Under the P4G for Professional Services, the protégé works on a specific Tollway contract with the mentor. Consultants receive DBE credit and or VOSB goals by participating as mentors on specific Tollway contracts.

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Small Business Initiative

The Illinois Tollway Small Business Initiative is a race- and gender- neutral program intended to increase opportunities for small construction companies to participate on Tollway construction contracts. The Tollway also unbundles larger contracts into several smaller jobs defining small contract opportunities in amounts generally under $5 million. Firms do not have to be registered in the state’s Small Business Set-Aside Program to bid on unbundled contracts.

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Looking For A Career?

ConstructionWorks

The Tollway has partnered with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to launch ConstructionWorks, an innovative program to create a qualified pipeline of diverse men and women ready to enter careers in the heavy highway and related construction industry.

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Earned Credit Program

The Illinois Tollway’s Earned Credit Program provides opportunities for historically underrepresented segments of the heavy highway construction workforce.

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A Competitive Edge

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 to lower their bid amount and increase the chances of winning the contract as the low bidder.

Current Bid Credit Incentive Programs:

There are nearly 40 construction contractors and subcontractors who hold active Illinois Tollway bid credit certificates. More than 400 ECP workers have been hired and employed – most of whom have gained union status – and have earned more than $19 million in wages since the program began in 2007.

Read the Special Provision for Bid Credit Incentive Programs.

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.

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 
Date, time and location: TBD

Policy and Programs Subcommittee
Date, time and location: TBD

Workforce Diversity Subcommittee
Date, time and location: TBD
 

 

Reports

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

2019

  Q1   Q2        

2018

  Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4

2017

  Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4

2016

  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.
 

Event Photo Gallery

 

Illinois Tollway's Calendars

Job Order Contracting

Overview

The Job Order Contracting (JOC) Facilities Program enables the Illinois Tollway to accomplish facility repairs and construction with a single, competitively bid contract, eliminating the time and expense of the typical design-bid-construct cycle for each project. General contractors competitively bid from a catalog of construction tasks with pre-set unit prices. The JOC Facilities Program allows the Illinois Tollway to decrease project duration and cost, while increasing quality.

In February 2016, the Illinois Tollway awarded eight general contractors five-year contracts to perform various facility repair and construction projects throughout the Tollway system. In most cases, the general contractors rely on sub-contractors to perform tasks related to each project.

General contractors have a 25 percent Business Enterprise Program (BEP) goal and a 3 percent veteran goal for the term of the contract. Subcontractors interested in participating in JOC projects need to contact the general contractor directly.

View the Upcoming JOC Projects

View the JOC Contractor Directory