Illinois Tollway to boost participation of women, minorities

2013-05-06T12:21:00Z 2013-05-06T17:12:04Z Illinois Tollway to boost participation of women, minoritiesBy Keith Benman keith.benman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3326 nwitimes.com

The Illinois Tollway Authority will establish a Construction Business Development Center with local community colleges in order to give minority- and women-owned firms a chance to compete.

The Tollway Authority is committing $578,000 to the center, which will be established at Prairie State College's Matteson Area Center in Matteson, Ill.

“This will allow us to assist the smaller construction companies to build capacity and prepare to bid as subcontractors on the Tollway projects," said Terri Winfree, vice president of community and economic development at Prairie State College.

The courses taught at the center will give all firms a chance to compete for contracts as the Illinois Tollway embarks on a $12 billion building campaign, the largest in its history, according to Illinois Tollway Authority Executive Director Kristi Lafleur.

June 1 is the anticipated start date for courses at the Construction Business Development Center. The center is expected to prepare more than 30 small-, minority- and women-owned firms for Tollway projects in its first year.

Other community colleges helping establish the Construction Business Development Center in Matteson are South Surburban College, Moraine Valley Community College, and Waubonsee Community College.

Course offerings will include how to do business with the tollway, finance and accounting for construction contractors, introduction to project management, and others. Networking events, one-on-one counseling, and post-training assistance will also be provided.

For more information, contact Lisa Zeigler at (708) 709-3548.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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