Professionals representing certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms, small businesses, public agencies, major freight and passenger railroads and prime contractors gathered at Kennedy King College for a half-day of learning and networking. Hosted by the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program partners, the opportunity led to connections between DBE firms and prime contractors – achieving the vision for the “Get On Board” business-to-business event.
Welcoming remarks were offered by Illinois state senators Jacqueline Coll- ins and Martin Sandoval and representatives from the City of Chicago, Cook County, Metra and the Association of American Railroads. Well-attended workshops were led by representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation, Metra and Class I railroads. The first workshop provided participants with an overview of work in the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project and Argo Connections project. A second workshop of railroad industry representatives provided valuable information on responding to bid notifications.
Immediate opportunities exist for design, engineering, construction and supplier teams. A professional services proposal opportunity for project design and construction engineering/ inspection and a bid opportunity for site work are posted on the CREATE website. Businesses awarded construction contracts under the 75th St. CIP are eligible for wage reimbursement when hiring entry-level graduates from the Highway Construction Career Training Program at Dawson Technical Institute.
DBE firms are encouraged to register through CREATE for email invitations to propose on professional services and respond to bid opportunities for contracted work. All CREATE Program partner procurements will be sent through the procurement notification email. Notifications are also made through newspapers.
CREATE is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the U.S. DOT, State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads. A project of national significance CREATE will invest billions in critically needed improvements to increase the efficiency of the region’s passenger and freight rail infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for Chicago-area residents.
The 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (75th St. CIP) is the largest project in the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program, an effort to improve the efficiency of the region’s rail infrastructure. The project is located in the Chicago neighborhoods of Ashburn, Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham along two passenger and four freight rail lines.