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Illinois Tollway: Technical Assistance Program

Program Overview

ChicagoMSDC and the Illinois Tollway have partnered to provide an Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Center. This program is designed to prepare established firms, including disadvantaged, minority-and women-owned business enterprise firms, veteran-owned small businesses, as well as small businesses, for participation on highway and vertical construction contracts. Participants receive comprehensive, one-on-one, ongoing business development assistance that evolves to meet relevant and identifiable objectives. Additionally, networking events and workshops are held throughout the year to not only educate, but connect private/public-sector buying organizations with minority entrepreneurs who are certified through ChicagoMSDC.

As one of 24 affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), ChicagoMSDC is strategically positioned to assist minority-owned businesses on a local level with the ability to reach nationally via our subscription service. Also, our prolific legacy as a credible certification resource is part of a solid foundation. These strengths exemplify the uniqueness ChicagoMSDC offers as an Illinois Tollway Technical Assistance Provider. 

Assistance Includes:

Access to Capital Back-office support Bonding
Business Management Business Operations Certification
Financial Management Financing IDOT Pre-Qualification Asst
Microsoft Project Networking Events One-on-One Coaching
One-on-One Meetings w/ Primes Partnering for Growth (P4G) Asst. Post-bid debriefing
Post-contract assistance Pre-bid evaluation Prevailing wage & labor issues
Project management QuickBooks for contractors Relationship building
Risk management Safety plans Workshops
Strategic planning and partnership development


Participant eligibility

  • A minimum of 3 years in business
  • $300,000 minimum annual revenue
  • Experience with Tollway or construction-related government work (at least one project as prime or subcontractor)

Application process

Applicants can download the application here. Completed applications must be sent to Neda Sharp at Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council.

Once a participant has applied and provided preliminary information, an appointment will be set-up for a meeting and assessment. Applicants who do not qualify will be referred to suitable programs for assistance.

Application deadline: Open Enrollment
Download the Application, complete the form, save it and return it to us by e-mail.

Upcoming Events

Construction Bootcamp Work-Ins
2nd Quarter 2020

Strategic Business Planning
3rd Quarter 2020

One of our newest TA clients -- Mobile Health and Testing Services

Elizabeth and Tamaine Waters @ the MOVE Illinois Q3 Meeting

Past Events

Strategic Business Planning Workshop
Friday, August 23, 2019, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Facilitator – RJSL Group, Inc.
Host – CPS/Chicago Builds @ Dunbar Campus | 3000 S. King Drive, Suite 136, Chicago, IL 60616

Workshop facilitator Richard Lee (RJSL Group) fully engaged attendees in planning discussions.

Chicago Business Opportunity Fair (CBOF52) at Navy Pier
Thursday, April 18, 2019
 / TA Café – Open for Business 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Photo: CBOF52 – TA Café w/Lorena Ponce, IL Tollway Diversity Team, Heartfelt Catering
(MBE Certified with ChicagoMSDC and provider of hors d’oeuvres), along with Neda Sharp.

Workshop - Creating a Culture for Success Through Safety
Thursday, March 21, 2019, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Hosted by MZI Group, Inc.
10115 S. Torrence Ave. (Training Facility), Chicago, IL 60617

Wisdom Wall @ MZI Training Facility.

Training Center

Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council
216 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60606

Contact Information

Neda Sharp
Program Manager
Phone: 312-755-2554
Fax: 312-755-8890
E-mail Neda Sharp

Neda Sharp designs, maintains, enhances and measures projects that help support minority-owned businesses. She has over 10 years of corporate experience with manufacturing and logistics in her background as supplier diversity coordinator, before expanding to a supply manager role at Navistar/International Truck & Engine Corp. While being introduced to supplier diversity there, Neda immediately became acquainted with ChicagoMSDC, the hub for all things related to the business of diversity, and eventually, yet seamlessly transitioned to employment at the Council to continue the mission of growing and sustaining minority-owned companies. She serves as your contact for the IL Tollway Technical Assistance (TA) Program with an emphasis on Partnering for Growth (P4G) and teaming agreements. Neda holds a BA in Business Management from DePaul University. Additionally, she is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a member of the Chicagoland Chapter.

Visit Tollway website http://www.illinoistollway.com/doing-business/diversity-development for more information.