Skills-building, networking event aims to grow diversity on state projects.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting the 33rd "Today's Challenge, Tomorrow's Reward" conference on Feb. 21 and 22 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. Hosted by IDOT’s Office of Business and Workforce Diversity, the conference provides female- and minority-owned businesses with opportunities to make connections and develop skills to grow and succeed.

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“‘Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward’ can open doors that lead to new, exciting paths to grow your business and positively impact your community while helping IDOT make projects more diverse and inclusive,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “Under Gov. Pritzker and the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program, Illinois is seeing record levels of investment in transportation. Please join us in shaping and modernizing infrastructure for future generations.”

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“Today’s Challenge, Tomorrow’s Reward” offers workshops to build skills, seminars on best practices and networking opportunities for firms and contractors wanting to do business with the state through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.

Conference topics include work category expansion, funding, training opportunities, “getting paid” and construction safety. Industry leaders and IDOT staff also will be leading sessions on how to bid on, participate in and deliver projects. Speakers include Bradley Mims, Director of the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, and Aaron Davis, a football national champion at the University of Nebraska, author, businessman and cancer survivor.

The event is attended by subcontractors and prime contractors in construction, trucking, engineering and other consulting services. Visit or click here for registration information and other details. The conference will be held in person, with a virtual option available. Those who register for the conference will receive links to view the general session on Feb. 21 and the keynote address, award presentation and additional workshops on Feb. 22.

Walk-ins are welcome during the conference.

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