According to Progressive Railroading, “the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) held its first annual rail supplier diversity policy session to hear from the Illinois Railroad Association and Class Is about their supplier diversity programs.”  The new focus on supplier diversity comes from a “new law that says Class Is may submit an annual report on supplier diversity to the ICC.”

In addition to the submission, the law also requires th ICC to “hold an annual workshop to hear from railroads about ways to improve supplier diversity, according to an ICC press release.  The railroad association voluntarily submitted an annual railroad supplier diversity report to the ICC on April 17 on behalf of the seven Class Is operating in Illinois.”

For diverse suppliers within the industry, this is major news and should help many small businesses receive opportunities that are hard to come by in the Railroad industry.

“On Sept. 5, the ICC held its annual supplier diversity policy session for Illinois regulated utilities, which focused on barriers facing minority-, women- and veteran-owned suppliers. Commissioners raised such topics with the railroads as well, ICC officials said.”

Illinois has been on the forefront of granting opportunities for diverse businesses within highly regulated industries.  With the new Obama library opening which is looking to source half of the project to diverse suppliers and a new law requesting railroad companies to connect with the same businesses, there is much opportunity in the state.