City of Chicago Partners with The Monroe Foundation to Bring Greater Outreach to Chicago’s Communities

January 12, 2018

The Chicago Department of Procurement Services (DPS) partnered with The Monroe Foundation to host a roundtable for the small, local, minority, women, and veteran-owned business communities. This roundtable event with the City of Chicago took place on Friday, January 12, 2018 at Bethel New Life at 4950 W. Thomas Street. The event featured a roundtable discussion about minority, women, veteran-owned business and businesses owned by people with disabilities certification programs, upcoming contracting opportunities, and information on how local non-profits can become Assist Agencies to help promote diversity in City contracting.

"The Monroe Foundation is pleased to collaborate with Bethel New Life on Chicago's Westside to convene this capacity-building opportunity dialogue with City of Chicago Chief Procurement Officer, Jamie L. Rhee,” said Otis Chandler Monroe, III, CEO of the Monroe Foundation. “This department provides opportunities for local businesses to become certified and bid-ready, while empowering local nonprofits to become assist agencies in helping their communities thrive and hire locally. We applaud Mayor Emanuel for the selection of the team of leaders at DPS.”

“Over the past several years, we’ve made changes to our procurement programs in order to create economic opportunities for our residents and ensure the vendors who work on City contracts reflect the diversity of the City itself,” said Chief Procurement Officer Jamie L. Rhee. “There are many emerging minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses that want to work on City contracts but need the resources and information to begin this process. Partnering with active assist agencies, like The Monroe Foundation, to host events such as this is crucial in providing firms with the knowledge and resources they need to do business with the City.”

DPS hosts or participates in over 100 outreach events annually. The City will host the 6th annual Construction Summit on February 7, 2018 at the JLM Life Center at 2601 W. Jackson Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Construction Summit is a great opportunity for prime contractors, sub-contractors, and construction-related business owners to learn about upcoming construction contracting opportunities in government. Attendees can speak with key staff from the City of Chicago user departments, sister agencies, government agencies, assist agencies, trade unions, and employment and labor organizations. For more information and to register, visit

Collaborating with The Monroe Foundation is a continuation in a series of efforts to improve the City’s procurement process, and are a result of the Mayor’s commitment to creating a competitive, fair, and transparent procurement services for the City of Chicago. Under his leadership, the City has created numerous programs to increase the pool of bidders on City contracts, incentivize the use of small minority and women-owned businesses, build capacity of local businesses, and encourage the employment of local residents. For more information, visit


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