Office of Business and Workforce Diversity

Pamela Simon

"The Office of Business and Workforce Diversity (OBWD) is part of the IDOT team that administers the federally mandated Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. OBWD works closely with DBE firms, industry, and community organizations to maximize DBE participation and to increase minority and females in the workforce on IDOT projects."

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Business and Workforce Diversity is to ensure that minority-owned, woman-owned and other disadvantaged small businesses have an equal opportunity to participate in IDOT’s federal and state-funded highway, transit, rail, and airport contracts. This office also promotes equal employment opportunities to achieve greater workforce diversity of minority groups, women, and disadvantaged persons in all phases of the highway, transit, rail, and airport construction industry. The Office of Business and Workforce Diversity is responsible for overseeing the implementation of directives, policies, and strategies for departmental business diversity efforts designed to support efficient operations and ultimately aimed toward achieving departmental goals and objectives. The office directs the periodic reviews of departmental efforts for compliance with tenets of quality and underlying laws, regulations and policies governing these projects and programs resulting in policy changes. The office promotes a climate of compliance with prevailing civil rights laws and minimizes departmental exposure to forfeiture of federal funds, litigation, or administrative intervention.


OBWD oversees two bureaus, the (1) Bureau of Small Business Enterprises and the (2) Bureau of Civil Rights. The Bureau of Small Business Enterprises has a total of 40 staff in both Springfield and Chicago. The bureau is comprised of three main units: (1) DBE Certification, (2) Contract and Field Compliance, and (3) Supportive Services. The success of each unit is dependent on the functions and proper implementation of the others. The Bureau of Civil Rights works to provide trained investigators to receive and process human rights complaints. 

OBWD strives to effectively administer the DBE Program by stimulating growth and opportunities within the transportation industry to enhance DBE participation on state and federally funded projects while providing best practices of support and programmatic implementation.

Bruce Harmening    
Bruce Harmening
Acting Deputy Director
 Vittorio Gomez
Deputy Director

 Carlos Ramirez
Bureau Chief
Bureau of Civil Rights

Bureau Chief
Bureau of Small
Business Enterprises