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Metra to host 3rd annual vendor fair Aug. 25

(July 25, 2017) - 

Metra will host its 3rd Annual On Track to Success Vendor Fair on Aug. 25 to provide contracting information and networking opportunities to current and prospective Metra vendors who are interested in doing business with the agency.

The event, to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Summit West Conference Center, 500 W. Madison, will include an awards ceremony recognizing businesses that have provided exceptional service to Metra and showcasing those that have become leaders in service and diversity. It also will feature an exhibition floor for prime contractors, subcontractors, community organizations and other transportation agencies.

“We are dedicated to collaborating with vendors who do business or want to do business with Metra and hopefully working together on future Metra contracts,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We also plan to recognize the many community organizations that have promoted Metra’s business diversity and outreach initiatives, which aim to ensure strong participation among women and minorities.”

Included in the fair is a free panel workshop titled, “Let Me Explain: A Conversation Addressing Small Business Owners' Concerns.” This workshop will be an open discussion facilitated by Metra's Senior Division Director, Janice R. Thomas, with a panel of small business owners and prime contractors addressing various issues that business owners encounter. Each panelist will be prompted with questions related to their specialty and/or experience in the small business community. The following companies will be represented: The BarTech Group Inc., Inner-City Underwriting Agency Inc., S & J Construction Co. Inc., and IHC Construction Companies LLC.

Metra’s DBE program was established in 1984. Since that time, the program has made numerous strides in creating a level playing field for small, minority- and women-owned businesses. Over the past 30 years, Metra’s DBE program has sponsored and participated in hundreds of workshops, training sessions and exhibitor fairs that provide access and opportunities throughout Illinois.

From 2014 to 2016, Metra committed $82 million in contracts to DBE firms, with 31 percent going to women-owned firms, 28 percent going to African-American-owned firms, 22 percent going to Hispanic-owned firms and 19 percent going to Asian- or Asian-Pacific-American-owned firms. During that time, the value of contracts awarded to DBE firms increased by 31 percent.

To register for Metra’s 3rd annual On Track to Success Vendor Fair, go to For more information, contact DBE Community Liaison Romayne Newton at or 312-322-6587.

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