Workforce & Business Diversity

Diversity in our workforce and business partnerships is crucial to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). One of our greatest strengths is diversity of IDOT's workforce, where men and women of different nationalities, races and backgrounds work together to build a world-class, multi-modal transportation system in Illinois. IDOT believes in the development of human capital through specific skill sets needed to ensure that the current and future transportation industry workforce can meet industry and societal demands. We also are dedicated to increasing the participation of minority and women-owned businesses on transportation contracts. At IDOT, we realize that in order for Illinois businesses to compete in the global economy and remain competitive, transportation infrastructure needs to be ready. In order to become a regional and national transportation leader, we use diversity and inclusion as the building blocks to create a culture where we draw strength and knowledge from our differences. We utilize diverse, ready, willing and able individuals in our workforce and firms to work with us because we believe that diversity of new ideas and perspectives drawn from different cultural and racial backgrounds can help address current challenges and solve future transportation problems for all users.

  • In 2016, IDOT commissioned a disparity study focused on construction, architecture, and engineering. The study reviewed contract data during the period of October 1, 2012 through September, 30, 2016.  The disparity study was completed in 2017 and was published for release in February of 2018.  A copy of the 2017 IDOT Disparity is available online under Documents & Studies, or can be requested electronically by contacting 217-782-5490.

  • IDOT is committed to providing support and development to DBEs in Illinois. The Foundation for Growth Business Development Program is a program designed to evaluate and provide a structured process for DBEs to receive firm-specific training and guidance to assist in their growth and competitiveness within the transportation industry. The program provides each DBE firm with a full business analysis; tailored targeted training that may be eligible for reimbursement, and a host of other opportunities to increase the competencies of the participants and to diversify certification categories. The commitment is one to two years based on the entry stage of the DBE firm. Each year IDOT accepts up to 15 firms, five in each tier.

  • IDOT’s DBE Reimbursement Program was established in October 2016 to assist IDOT DBE firms with financial assistance for the following expenses of doing business: Membership costs for associations/organizations related to their work category or transportation industry, training or certification class related to their approved DBE work category, website, capability statement or logo (if a certified DBE is utilized for services), audited financial statement, estimating software, and accounting software with payroll component.  The Agency reimburses up to 50% of the cost no to exceed a specific limit per DBE firm with a federal fiscal year maximum per DBE firm.

  • IDOT, through the Illinois Community College Board, created a Highway Construction Careers Training Program with participating community colleges throughout IDOT’s nine districts.  The program includes an eight to ten week course held two to three times per academic year with intense training in highway construction-related skills such as math for trades, job readiness, technical skills coursework, and OSHA 10 certification.  Minorities, women, and disadvantaged individuals are encouraged to participate. IDOT construction contracts, with assigned trainee hours assigned, contain a special provision to provide a $15/hour incentive for prime contractors to hire HCCTP graduates.  This initiative has received approval from FHWA for use on the Department’s federal-aid contracts. Through this program, the Department is investing in a skilled and diverse workforce and encouraging hiring, placement of participants which also leads to potential business formation by participants as DBEs. 

  • IDOT’s Supportive Services Program is executed through our partnerships with both DBE and non-DBE consultants who provide management and technical supportive services assistance, and corresponding supportive services programs that fall under the umbrella Supportive Services Program. Considered a national best practice our Supportive Services program requires DBE firms to complete an intake interview with IDOT personnel to ensure targeted support based on identified needs can be provided through our available consultants. This support is provided at no charge to IDOT’s DBE firms, firms seeking IDOT DBE certification, and IL UCP firms who have an IDOT contract. 

  • IDOT launched regional networking and outreach events throughout the state of Illinois. These events were geared specifically towards prime and subcontractors who were likely to do business with each other in their specific regions.

  • Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward is still held every year in the state’s capital city of Springfield.  IDOT strives to make this conference one that appeals to all firms doing business with the Department, including primes and subcontractors, consultants, suppliers, and our various partners.  Every year the tradeshow exhibits an increasing amount of innovation and technology in the industry and the presentations raise the bar on the level of information and expertise presented in various fields.

  • IDOT maintains District Resource Centers, in each of IDOT’s nine districts, providing at least one computer, internet accessibility, access to plans and specifications by Letting, scanner/copier/printer, and staff assistance. These Resource Centers are open to all firms seeking to do business with IDOT and are available for use at no charge.