University Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services

Minority and Female Business Utilization

The University of Illinois encourages diversity among its vendors, including the participation of firms and owned by minorities, females in the construction subcontracting, vendor and supplier community. For construction, the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act (30 ILCS 575 et seq.) is applicable only to minority and female business enterprises (MBE and FBE).

On September 23, 2010, The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voluntarily established goals for the utilization of minority and female business enterprise construction vendors consistent with ILCS 575 et seq ; the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act.

The goal is 22% for the Chicago campus and 15% for the Peoria, Rockford, Springfield and Urbana campuses.

Where MBE/FBE goals will apply
  • MBE/FBE goals will apply to all construction projects that are bid. Good Faith Efforts to meet MBE/FBE goals are required on projects that meet or exceed an estimated construction cost of $250,000, including contingency.
  • MBE/FBE goals will apply to the design-bid-build delivery method for each division of work bid.
  • MBE/FBE goals will apply to the Construction Manager delivery method for the entire project in one or more divisions of work bid.
  • MBE/FBE goals will apply to Energy Performance Contracting delivery method.
Minority and Female Definitions for Program Requirements

The Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act outlines the following definitions for eligible females and minority persons:

  1. "Minority person" shall mean a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is:
    1. African American (a person having origins in any of the black racial groups in Africa);
    2. Hispanic (a person of Spanish or Portuguese culture with origins in Mexico, South or Central America, or the Caribbean Islands, regardless of race);
    3. Asian American (a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent or the Pacific Islands); or
    4. Native American or Alaskan Native (a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America).
  2. "Female" shall mean a person who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is of the female gender.
University of Illinois Certification Requirements and Eligibility

University of Illinois utilizes the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Business Enterprise Program (IL CMS BEP) certification as the basis upon which a business is owned by a minority, female and persons with disabilities (MAFBE). The University of Illinois as a state agency is required by state law to report goals and expenditures with all IL CMS BEP certified minority, female and persons with disabilities owned businesses. University of Illinois therefore seeks to comply with this reporting requirement to the maximum extent through utilization of IL CMS BEP certified vendors.

How to Become an IL CMS BEP Vendor to the University of Illinois

Determine if you qualify:

You may be certified as a MAFBE vendor with IL CMS BEP if you meet the following criteria:

  • At least 51 percent owned and controlled by persons who are minority, women or designated as disabled
  • Must be a United States citizen or resident alien
  • Average annual gross sales over the last three tax years must be under $75 million
Where to Apply for the IL CMS Business Enterprise Program

Go to this web page on the BEP Program website at:

Are You Certified as a MBE, FBE or DBE elsewhere in the State of Illinois or Midwest Region?

If your firm is certified elsewhere in the State of Illinois or in the Midwest as a certified minority, female and persons with disabilities owned business, you may apply for certification to IL CMS BEP through BEPs Recognition Certification Affidavit. If you are currently certified by one of the following agencies:

  • Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)
  • Chicago Minority Business Development Council (CMBDC)
  • Women's Business Development Center (WBDC)
  • City of Chicago
  • Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA)
  • PACE
  • Cook County

You are eligible and encouraged to gain IL CMS BEP certification by completing the Recognition Certification Affidavit found at: (see "Step 2" and the Recognition Certification Affidavit pdf file on the web page)

Requirements for Doing Business with the University if you are a Contractor, Subcontractor, Vendor or Construction Materials Supplier

State of Illinois Requirements must be met in full are as follows:

University of Illinois Requirements for Prime Contractors, Subcontractors, Vendors or Construction Materials Suppliers

In order to do business as a prime vendor, subconsultant, subcontractor or supplier with the University of Illinois you must satisfy all of the following University requirements:

Register with the Vendor Services Application (VSA) for Prime and Sub-Vendors
Vendor Registration
Prime Vendor (Bidders) Prequalification
Pre-Qualify with the Contractor Annual Pre-Qualification System (CAPS) for Each Division of Work (Sub-Vendors are not required to Pre-Qualify)
CAPS Login
Project-Specific Prequalification (if req'd)
If required at the time of bidding
See bid specification for details

Bid Requirements and Diversity Utilization

Resources: A tutorial to Search and Find Diverse Vendors.

Selected Sections of MAFBE Construction Policy and Standard Contract Documents:

  • To be considered a certified MAFBE vendor, minority and female-owned business enterprises need to be certified as such with the IL CMS BEP.
  • MAFBE vendors need to supply their IL CMS BEP certification to prime bidders for inclusion in bid materials to affirm their current IL CMS BEP certification
  • MAFBE vendors should retain copies of their bids supplied to all prime bidders when bids are solicited from prime bidders.
  • MAFBE vendors need to be registered as a vendor with the University of Illinois in the Vendor Services Application (VSA) before the bid due date.
  • MAFBE vendors need to understand the bid solicitation and all its requirements before responding and supplying a bid number.

Good Faith Effort

The University of Illinois per the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females, and Persons with Disabilities Act (30 ILCS 575 et seq.) and P.A. 96-1064 (SB 3249) requires that when MAFBE goals for construction projects are not met on bid projects, prime bidders may request a change or waiver in those goals and must demonstrate "good faith efforts". The University will conduct and determine whether good faith effort was demonstrated.

University of Illinois Good Faith Effort Documentation Guidelines

The University of Illinois will consider all other evidence of good faith efforts made by the bidder to secure eligible MBE/FBE firms to meet the specified goal.

Opportunity Resources
Vendor Directory Resources

IL CDB Prequal website and links to determine if vendor is prequalified &/or certified

  • Illinois Capital Development Board Firm Prequalification
    CDB provides opportunities for firms to provide design, construction, and construction/program management services on large as well as small projects throughout the State of Illinois.
  • Minority Business Enterprise and Female Business Enterprise Subcontractors and Suppliers Online Directory
    In an effort to comply with the MBE/FBE Act and assist in the utilization of MBE/FBE firms, CDB has identified certified construction related firms and assembled the information into our own directory.
  • Directory and Link to IL CMS Database for checking certification status
    The Business Enterprise Program promotes the economic development of diverse businesses - those owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. This searchable database lists BEP vendors certified through CMS. A tutorial on how to use the directory and obtain a print copy of the database detail is provided.
  • Directory and Link to IL DOT database for vendor search
    ILDOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Directory
    The IL Unified Certification Program's five participating agencies maintain this DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Directory to provide a reference source to assist bidders/proposers in meeting DBE contract goals. The Directory lists the firms in alphabetical order and by the industry categories/list and the Illinois Department of Transportation's district(s) in which the firms have indicated they are available.
Diversity Business Capacity Building Resources

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
IL PTAC is a no cost outreach program for small and medium-sized businesses looking for contracting opportunities with government agencies and large companies. We help small and medium-sized businesses connect with governmental agencies and large companies who have buying needs for commercial products and services.

Parkland College Construction Management Programs and Short Courses
Construction Design and Management Associate's Degree Program
The Construction Design and Management Program prepares the student to enter the construction industry in two major areas: building construction or civil construction (roads, bridges, subdivisions). Entry-level employment is generally in the areas of computer-aided drafting, surveying technician, field inspector, material tester, project manager, or cost estimator.

Project Management Certificate
Discover practical, fundamental project management skills to help you learn how to manage budgets, meet deadlines, coordinate diverse groups of people and tasks, solve problems, and achieve results, in this 8 week certificate program.

LEED Exam Preparation
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a market-driven green building rating system developed and managed by US Green Building Council (USGBC) to support the widespread adoption of sustainable design and construction through its certification process. LEED Accredited Professionals (AP) are individuals who play a critical role in bridging the green building providers and consumers by participating in the green design process, supporting integrated design, and streamlining the LEED certification process.

Lakeland Community College Construction Management Programs and Short Courses Courses
Building Construction Technology Associate's Degree Program
This associate degree program is set up to produce versatile building construction technicians capable of working in a variety of positions such as cost estimators, computer drafters, surveyors and manufacturers' representatives. With additional experience, these technicians could fill the positions of engineer's representative, construction supervisor, building inspector or self employed building contractors. Employers interested in such technicians are consulting engineers, building contractors, manufacturers and testing laboratories.


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