In partnership with Inner-City Underwriting Agency Inc. and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Tollway is promoting its expanded Technical Assistance Program in Chicago and the surrounding area to help small, diverse and veteran-owned firms to learn how to succeed in doing business with the Tollway.
The Tollway will host a kick-off event for local businesses and community leaders to network with representatives from the Technical Assistance providers and the Tollway on Thursday, April 14, from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Lawndale Christian Health Center, 3750 W. Ogden Avenue in Chicago.
“The Illinois Tollway plays a vital role in economic development and job creation throughout Northern Illinois, offering significant opportunities for a diverse range of firms to grow, thrive and make greater contributions to their local communities,” said Interim Illinois Tollway Executive Director Lanyea Griffin. “This event is designed to introduce contractors and consultants to the guidance and tools the Tollway can offer firms to effectively bid on Tollway contracts.”
The event will provide an opportunity for emerging and established transportation-related firms to learn about upcoming Tollway contracts and services available to help prepare to bid. The Tollway’s Technical Assistance Program provides services to both construction and professional engineering services firms.
Businesses interested in participating are encouraged to register in advance. To access online registration via the Technical Assistance calendar, please visit Technical Assistance – Illinois Tollway on the Illinois Tollway’s website.
“The Illinois Tollway is committed to reaching out to new firms in the Chicago area to share information and promote opportunities to work with the Tollway,” said Tollway Chief of Diversity and Strategic Development Terry Miller. “This event is a great way for Chicago-area companies to learn how to take advantage of business opportunities with the Illinois Tollway.”
Chicago-area Tollway Technical Assistance Program locations include:
- 3843 W. Ogden Avenue, Chicago
- Suite 110, 8745 W. Higgins Road, Chicago
- Suite 1212, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago
- 4801 Southwick Drive, Suite 610, Matteson
The Illinois Tollway’s Technical Assistance Program is intended to increase the pool of small and diverse businesses that are qualified to compete for contracts as prime contractors and subcontractors in the Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion Move Illinois capital program.
The technical assistance services will be provided at no charge to businesses participating in the program, which is open to businesses located in the 12 Northern Illinois counties served by the Tollway.
Businesses participating in the Technical Assistance Program 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 pre-qualification applications.
Programs are either self-paced (participants determine how quickly the program is completed) or cohort-based (a group setting that invites a collaborative learning environment). In addition, providers offer support to help firms grow their businesses through networking events and creating partnerships on future contracts, including the Tollway’s Partnering for Growth Program.
The Technical Assistance Program is open to emerging businesses with little-to-no experience bidding on Tollway or other transportation agency contracts and need assistance with basic business infrastructure and bid processes. Established businesses with some experience in bidding transportation contracts or that have worked as subcontractors also are eligible to participate in the program to receive assistance that would allow them to work as a prime contractor on Tollway projects.
Since it was launched, the Tollway’s Technical Assistance Program has provided support and training to more than 750 firms working to succeed and grow. As a result of the Tollway’s investment in the program, approximately 1,766 bids have been submitted by clients since 2017, including 377 on Tollway projects. In 2021, 167 of the bids submitted on Tollway projects resulted in 34 firms winning work as primes or subcontractors on 25 contracts.
About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of roadways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.