By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – Both the state and its contractors are working to be more diverse and inclusive.
“Whether you’re black-owned, women-owned, Latinx-owned business, (Asian-American Pacific Islander)-owned business,” said Jonathan McGee, “you still are dealing with systemic challenges: one, can I get a loan? Two: Will I be viewed as just as viable as my counterparts? Three: What are some of the issues I am struggling with of capacity and bandwidth; running my shop.”
And women- and minority-owned contractors are out there, beyond the construction field. “Before we do a project, we’ve got to engineer it and design it. About ten percent of all our projects fall into the design and engineering space,” said McGee. “We actually do very well there.”
McGee, recently hired as the director of the Office of Business and Workforce Development in the Illinois Department of Transportation, is one of the main speakers at an IDOT conference on diversity and inclusion.
Dave Dahl can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.