The University of Chicago is committed to creating economic opportunities, through its construction projects, for women and minorities in the city of Chicago and on the South Side.
In 2017, the University and UChicago Medicine aligned on ambitious construction diversity goals which apply to all University and UChicago Medicine construction projects awarded after March 15, 2017.
On each construction and renovation project, the University and UChicago Medicine aim for:
- 35 percent minority-owned contractors
- 6 percent women-owned contractors
- 40 percent construction workers who live in the city of Chicago
- 30 percent of hours from minority journey workers and apprentices
- 5 percent of hours from female journey workers and apprentices
- 40 percent of hours from minority laborers
- 5 percent of hours from female laborers
To facilitate reaching these goals, which exceed those of the City of Chicago, the University established the Inclusive Construction Initiative, which comprises representatives of the Offices of Civic Engagement, Business Diversity, and Procurement; Facilities Services; and the Medical Center. The initiative collaborates to increase outreach to minority- and women-owned trade and prime contractors, provides updates to the community on upcoming opportunities, and develops programs to formally recognize contractors that help advance UChicago‘s goals for increasing opportunities for minorities, women, and local residents.
The University has developed a mentor-protégé program to help smaller minority- and women-owned contracting firms gain technical and administrative expertise that will enable them to compete successfully for construction projects at UChicago and elsewhere.
The University continues to increase outreach to minority- and women-owned contractors by hosting mentorship programs, hiring fairs, and multiple sessions of the Turner School of Construction Management held at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.