Downers Grove, Ill. — The Illinois Tollway is hosting a 2017 Professional Engineering Services Networking Event on Tuesday, March 14, in Downers Grove for firms interested in participating in various design and construction management contracts and other professional engineering services throughout the Tollway system. The upcoming work is part of the 15-year, $12 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future.

“As we begin work on the sixth year of the Move Illinois Program, we plan to commit nearly $1 billion in 2017 for construction projects, along with $4 million to promote diversity among the firms and people working for the Tollway,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov. “We are better as an agency and as a state when there are more firms competing in the construction industry and when we provide real opportunities for small, diverse and veteran-owned firms and individuals to participate.”

The event will provide an opportunity for firms of all sizes and types, including disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise (D/M/WBE) firms, as well as small and veteran-owned businesses to connect with other firms to build teams to work on Tollway contracts advertised in Professional Services Bulletin (PSB) 17-2, as well as identify work that will be advertised in upcoming PSBs in 2017.

In 2017, the Tollway will be setting DBE goals on professional services contracts using the most recent data from the 2015 Disparity Study. This update is anticipated to result in an increase in the overall DBE goal percentage for professional engineering services contracts as compared to the previous Disparity Study data used by the Tollway. In addition, the Tollway is adjusting veteran goals for professional services based on contract performance data over the past two years.

Firms can learn about specific goals for participation of DBE and veteran firms established for contracts, as well as other programs provided by the Illinois Tollway to strengthen and diversify the heavy highway construction industry, including the Partnering for Growth Program.

The Partnering For Growth Program is an incentive program designed by the Illinois Tollway to encourage professional engineering services consultants to mentor and assist D/M/WBE firms and veteran-owned small businesses to become self-sufficient, competitive and profitable businesses. The program provides a way for prime consultants to receive credit toward advertised diversity goals for serving as a mentor and providing meaningful instruction, technical assistance and beneficial resources to a protégé firm.

The 2017 Professional Engineering Services Networking Event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at the DoubleTree Suites & Conference Center, 2111 Butterfield Road in Downers Grove.

Speakers will include Illinois Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov, Diversity and Strategic Development Department Chief Gustavo Giraldo and Deputy Chief of Program Controls and System Integrity Greg Stukel.

Event registration is available on the Illinois Tollway website Pre-registration closes at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 13, but onsite registration will be available beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14.