Chicago-Congressman Bobby Rush (Dem.IL-1st) will host a two-day summit for minorities interested in securing contracts in the construction trades or related professional services. The Contractors’ Business Summit will take place at Chicago State University’s Jones Convocation Center, 9501 South King Drive, on Friday August 24th from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday August 25th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“Beginning in 2013 our city and state will spend $4-6 billion dollars a year on heavy construction,” Rush said. “If members of our minority communities are going to get their fair share of the work, we must start preparing now.”

The summit will teach participants how to actually win contracting and sub contracting opportunities. They will receive detailed instructions from the experts on becoming properly certified, on how to bid and how to obtain bonding and financing.

Friday evening’s reception and plenary session will feature U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. Secretary LaHood will be joined by Metra Chairman Larry Huggins, CTA Chairman Terry Peterson, and RTA Board member Rev. Tyrone Crider.

“I am delighted that Secretary LaHood has taken the time to join these transportation sector leaders and experts in sharing their valuable knowledge and wisdom,” Rush said.

Metra is a co-sponsor of the two-day summit. “We are proud to be a co-sponsor of this event and we are committed to working with the community to identify opportunities for small business participation,” said Metra Chairman Larry Huggins. “It’s essential that we help educate businesses about the resources available to help them identify and take advantage of new business opportunities. Expanding the pool of contractors will bring new ideas and innovation to the transportation industry, and open opportunities for the next generation of business leaders.”

Metra Director of Business Diversity & Civil Rights, Ms. Janice R. Thomas, will be participating in the summit to discuss the DBE Certification Process and help business owners understand the steps involved in becoming a certified DBE. In addition, Ms. Thomas will make a presentation on the bidding process in which she will share her insight and experiences on how to successfully win contracting opportunities.

“This must be an effort that results not only in the rebuilding of roads and rails but also in the rebuilding of the economic infrastructure of our communities.
These bridges and highways must not be seen as mere concrete and steel but also as passages to progress for our people,” said Rush.

Registration is required and advanced registration is preferred. For more information and registration forms contact Congressman Rush’s office at 773-2246500 or e-mail us at

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