10th Annual Construction Summit

March 24, 2022

Summit Promotes Inclusion of Local Businesses and Job Seekers in Construction-Related Opportunities with the City of Chicago



CHICAGO—The City of Chicago ("City") Department of Procurement Services (DPS) hosted the Tenth Annual Construction Summit. Although the pandemic has catapulted the world into a future of significant change, history reminds us that crisis produces change and opportunities. The Summit, this year, afforded residents and business owners a unique opportunity to talk with department experts about city procurement and government contracting opportunities. Nearly 1,000 participants who attended the virtual event were able to take a deeper dive into actual contracting opportunities from five of the City's significant user departments.

"Supporting diverse businesses is a priority for the City and a key pillar in creating a more equitable Chicago," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "The last two years have been challenging for many businesses and owners who faced shutdowns, staffing shortages, and supply backlogs due to the pandemic. As a result, the City continues working tirelessly to assist businesses with tools and resources to operate in a world where 'business as unusual' is the new 'usual."

The Construction Summit provides residents with unprecedented information and resources, putting businesses in a stronger position to serve their communities, invest in their neighborhoods, and grow our economy.

This year's Construction Summit featured five City department sessions, including:

  •  Opening Remarks from Aileen Velazquez, Chief Procurement Officer 
  • DPS "Spotlight" Series featuring key City infrastructure departments: Aviation, Transportation, Water Management, Procurement Services, and Assets. Information and Services

The Construction Summit is one of many efforts led by DPS to enhance the City's procurement processes, aligned with the mayor's commitment to creating competitive, fair, and transparent procurement for the City of Chicago.  DPS facilitates over 20 different programs and initiatives to encourage the use of local small businesses that are minority, women-owned, veteran or owned by people with disabilities.  Committed to communication and outreach, DPS teaches workshops on over 25 different topics and hosts or participates in over 100 events annually to educate the vendor community about opportunities and resources.

"I hope that all businesses take advantage of these extraordinary resources, programs, and incentives highlighted by city experts at our 10th Annual Construction Summit. DPS understands the benefit of having diverse vendors work on City projects, which also reflects Chicago's diversity," said Chief Procurement Officer Aileen Velazquez. To date, 3,124 minority-owned firms contribute to the local economy and are the City's economic engine. As a result, partnerships with local businesses are more critical than ever before as we recover from the pandemic. "Our goal is to continue to host this premier event where diverse businesses can network and share information with other vendors and city government representatives to foster future partnership opportunities in the construction field."

To view a complete list of workshop presentations and other updates from the Summit, visit www.chicago.gov/construction


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