• Illinois Capital Development Board Expands Program to Increase Number of Underrepresented Businesses with State Contracts

    Partnering for Progress Program to Offer Additional Virtual Sessions for Businesses Owned by Women, Veterans, People with Disabilities and Minorities

    CHICAGO – Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB) is pleased to announce a series of Partnering for Progress virtual outreach sessions to familiarize contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, and suppliers with bidding opportunities with the State of Illinois. CDB will collaborate with other entities in convening educational forums and providing engagement opportunities for virtual networking. An interactive question and answer session will follow the formal presentation. Minority, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran-owned enterprises are encouraged to attend.

    “Contractors who work for the State should reflect the diversity of Illinois’ communities, and my administration is committed to improving representation in every part of government. Another way we can do that is with this outreach program to share more information about how to bid on contracts with the state,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “Through initiatives like the Partnering for Progress program, the Capital Development Board is establishing a stronger path to participation for businesses owned by women, veterans, minorities, and people with disabilities.”

    Participating businesses will hear about upcoming projects, prequalification/contract requirements, qualification-based selections, and Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise/Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise/Veteran Business Enterprise goals and requirements.

    “This is a great forum for businesses to interact and learn how to become certified and or registered with CDB for future business opportunities. We have had excellent responses from firms eager to do work for the State of Illinois. I look forward to additional successful forums,” said CDB Executive Director Jim Underwood.

    CDB outreach events are the pipeline for getting small businesses, primarily Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise/Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise/Veteran Business Enterprise, registered as a vendor or prequalified with CDB. If a business is certified with Central Management Services (CMS) as a Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise/Persons with Disabilities Business Enterprise/Veteran Business Enterprise, they will meet the Fair Employment Practices (FEP) goals on CDB projects. If you are not certified with CMS, CDB still encourages you to attend the outreach. Also, being prequalified allows businesses to bid on projects as a prime or protected subconsultant depending on one’s business.

    CDB has an entire FEP office dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion of minority, female and veteran vendors, and tradespersons. FEP serves as a resource to all companies to ensure companies understand the agency’s processes and forms regarding how to meet diversity goals and how to do business as a prime or participate as a subcontractor on construction projects.

    The FEP unit is responsible for ensuring equal opportunity with state-funded construction projects. A team of compliance technicians, assistants, and specialists is responsible for the management of these programs. They perform project reviews as required by state regulations, assist prime contractors in locating diverse vendors to achieve established participation goals, and offer training for those vendors newly prequalified or registered.

    The next Partnering for Progress virtual outreach sessions include outreach events in Bloomington-Normal on February 18th from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., East St. Louis on March 23rd from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and in Chicago on February 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    The Partnering for Progress forums are free and open to anyone interested in working on state-funded construction projects. For a complete list of future forums, email Jesse Martinez at Jesse.Martinez@illinois.gov or contact him by phone at 312-814-6290.