Legislation Could Help Veteran, Minority Business In Illinois Colleges

Nov 12, 2014

New legislation could help give veterans a leg up in securing a contract with an Illinois university or college. 

Credit Illinois Board of Higher Education

The measure does not put restrictions on the vendors universities can choose. But it does require they report how much they spend on veteran owned businesses, as well as those run by minorities and women.

Dan Johnson, who represents the Federation of Women Contractors, says many institutions already have diversity goals for their procurement programs.

"Many of whom try to reach out to veteran-owned businesses, but could use some help ... finding a way to reach out and find these vendors to serve their needs."

Johnson says the legislation would help by requiring the Illinois Board of Higher Education to hold an annual workshop on supplier diversity obstacles, and ways to overcome them.

The measure would also make clear which schools are successful, and which aren't.  They would all have to file reports with the state each year. 

The reports would have to contain information that Johnson says will make it easier for business owners to learn who they need to contact, and what they need to do to bid for a project.

State law already requires electric and natural gas companies to do something similar.