Diversity in the Work Force


IRTBA is committed to assisting and supporting a diverse workforce in the construction industry. Fostering and retaining a work force that mirrors the diversity of individuals living in the Chicagoland region is very important. To create work force diversity, we must foster a culture of inclusion and create and maintain a work environment that is welcoming to all individuals. 

The IRTBA is committed to improving and promoting work force diversity in Illinois. The IRTBA aims to promote opportunity for all people to work in the transportation design and construction industry.  The Association supports a non-exclusionary increase in work force diversity and growth of small business.  We will continue to negotiate for work force diversity with union contracts.  We focus efforts on improving minority educational opportunities in the engineering and construction fields though our contributions to ACE Tech High School and Dawson Technical Institute.  We remain committed to attracting and retaining minority firms in our membership and creating additional opportunities for those firms.  

Local Hiring

While many citizens, community groups, and elected officials are interested in local hiring preferences and supporting a workforce that is reflective of the neighborhoods where a project is located, it is important to note that on construction projects using federal funds, the industry is prohibited from applying local hiring preferences. In a 1994 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) memorandum, it states that “the need or desire to bolster the economic viability of communities in which highway projects are built does not overcome the statutory bar against the exclusion of nonresident contractors/laborers. Without the competition from all sources, we would probably be paying higher prices for highway construction services, without any assurance that the quality of work would be equally high.”

Union Labor on the Jobsite

Labor unions employ the overwhelming majority of the jobs that a citizen sees on a construction project. This can include laborers, operators, teamsters, etc. The unions perform their own hiring. It is common practice at many of the unions to assign priority to those employees that have seniority. 

Good Faith Effort

As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, a bidder must, in order to be responsible and/or responsive, make good faith efforts to meet the DBE goal. The bidder can meet this requirement in either of two ways. First, the bidder can meet the goal, documenting commitments for participation by DBE firms sufficient for this purpose. Second, even if it doesn't meet the goal, the bidder can document adequate good faith efforts. This means that the bidder must show that it took all necessary and reasonable steps to achieve a DBE goal or other requirement of this part which, by their scope, intensity, and appropriateness to the objective, could reasonably be expected to obtain sufficient DBE participation, even if they were not fully successful.
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