Morgan station under construction

Diversity Programs

About Diversity Programs at the CTA

The mission of Diversity Programs is to create an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion by promoting dialogue with the contracting community and other stakeholders that will improve the CTA’s ability to level the playing field and establish diversity as a critical component of the CTA’s contracting practices.

Diversity Programs will achieve these goals by certifying eligible firms as Disadvantaged and/or Small Business Enterprises (DBE/SBE), assessing attainable DBE & SBE contracting goals, creating opportunities for DBEs & SBEs to network with large contractors, establishing programs for DBEs & SBEs to grow in capacity & capability, connecting interested individuals with job opportunities on CTA contracts, and advocating for policies that reduce barriers for both DBEs/SBEs and job seekers on our contracts.

Schedule a one-on-one consultation with us by emailing or a manager directly.


  • Jan

    Contract Agreements Workshop

    January 24, 2024

    650 W Lake Street
    2nd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60661

    The CTA's Building Small Businesses (BSB) Program is an immersive financial capacity building program tailored for small business accelerations. BSB is free and open to diverse and small firms.

    About the lecturer: Serna Legal Services founder, Noeli Serna, is a former finance attorney turned in-house corporate counsel. She provides skilled and ethical corporate services in English and Spanish, to businesses and entrepreneurs alike.

    What you'll learn:

    • Understand how to legally review your contract.
    • Learn how to negotiate your payment and retention terms.
    • Go over how to review and meet contract requirements.
  • Jan

    CTA Workforce Outreach Event

    January 25, 2024

    Altgeld CYC Building
    951 E 132nd St
    Chicago, Illinois 60827

    The CTA is inviting Contractors, Building Trade Unions, Workforce Assistance Agencies, and other Organizations to assist us and our Prime-Contractors with growing and diversifying our workforce and achieving the diversity goals that CTA has established for the year ahead. Join us on January 25th learn about the organizations that support the workforce career goals and training opportunities for under-represented communities on Chicago Transit Authority projects.

    Please register at to confirm your attendance and participation at the January 25th Workforce Outreach Event.


  • Feb

    Building Small Businesses Program

    February 8, 2024

    HACIA U Training Room
    650 W. Lake Street, Suite 230
    Chicago, IL 60661

    Building Small Businesses (BSB) is an immersive financial capacity building program tailored for small business acceleration.

    BSB will provide programming focused on:

    • Financial Management
    • Access to Capital Sourcing
    • Technical Assistance & Back Office Support
    • Procurement Connections


  • Feb

    Diversity Programs Q1 Outreach Event

    February 15, 2024

    Wright College
    4300 N Narragansett Ave
    Chicago, IL 60634

    Join us as we share information about projects to upgrade the Chicago Transit Authority’s infrastructure. Learn how your firm can partner on these projects to keep Chicago moving as you meet with potential prime contractors.

    Doors open at 9:45 am. Presentation starts at 10:15 am.


  • Feb

    Driving Small Businesses the Distance: CTA Compliance Do's, Don'ts, and Musts!

    February 21, 2024



  • Mar

    Driving Small Businesses the Distance: Responding to CTA Contract Solicitations

    March 20, 2024



2024 Chicago Transit Authority Small Business Educational Series

Learn to procure business opportunities, manage projects, protect against risk, run payroll, estimate & close CTA projects.

Key industry leaders will teach participants how to procure business opportunities, manage projects, protect against risk, run payroll correctly, create accurate estimates, and close our projects.

The Small Business Educational Series is a 9 week in-person program. The first class starts Tuesday, February 6, 2024 and ends on Tuesday April 2, 2024. from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm.

Upon successful completion of the training series, participants will be paired with a mentor for a year long Mentor-Protege relationship and qualify for OSHA 30 and First Aid CPR trainings. All trainings will be hosted and provided free of charge by the Chicago Transit Authority

Secure your attendance by completing our registration application. Once application is approved further details will be provided.

Application Deadline: Thursday, January 11, 2024

Participants MUST ATTEND A MINIMUM OF SEVEN CLASSES for successful completion to qualify for Mentor-Protege Participation, OSHA 30 and First Aid/CPR trainings.

Elevate your business status by joining CTA Diversity Programs Small Business Educational Series.

Forward questions to

U.S. Department of Transportation Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is advancing its commitment to equity and access to contracting opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE). In doing so, U.S. DOT has recently announced the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would strengthen these programs’ regulations. This recent rulemaking allows DBEs and ACDBEs to have the ability to find resources to new program features, in addition to updating standards when certifiers are assessing eligibility. Read the press release 

Mentor-Protégé Program

Through hands-on and classroom training experience, the Mentor-Protégé Program strives to develop working relationships between DBE firms and prime contracting firms that have successfully participated in and/or completed CTA contracts.

Program description and application (PDF)