The University of Chicago is committed to exemplifying diversity and embracing different viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences. As part of that commitment, we are dedicated to increasing the University’s overall business diversity and increasing employment opportunities for women and minority residents on the South Side and throughout the City of Chicago as a whole.
The Inclusive Construction Initiative (ICI) is a joint effort between the University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement, Procurement Services, Facilities Services, and UChicago Medicine to ensure on-campus construction projects are as diverse as the surrounding communities. Together, members of the aforementioned offices make up the Joint Economic Sustainability Committee that leads ICI. ICI is an intentional approach to ensuring construction-related contracting and employment opportunities are extended to minorities, women, and local South Side residents.
In 2017, the University raised its contracting goals for minority- and women-owned participation to 35% and 6%, respectively, for construction projects to reflect its sustained commitment to diversity. These goals are ambitious and challenging—a direct reflection of how intent the University is on being a champion for diversity. The aggressive contracting goals have resulted in increased business diversity and opportunities for local residents.
This annual report is designed to not only provide a culmination of goal progress at the close of Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020) on projects in construction during that timeframe, but provide some insights as to exactly how ICI has impacted the minority and women-owned contracting community along with local hires.