Commissioner Suffredin's Cook County Board Legislative Library
for more info visit

Re-Entry Employment /Bid Incentive Ordinance

Print Page
Close Window

Suffredin's Commentary
Activity Log
Full Text of Legislation

Date Introduced: 11/6/2007
Date Passed:

Collins, Steele-Robert, Stroger-Todd
Beavers, Butler, Claypool, Daley, Maldonado, Moreno, Murphy, Peraica, Quigley, Sims, Suffredin


Ordinance to create a program to help adults who are former offenders find employment in Cook County.

Activity Log:

Referred to Committee on Workforce, Job Development and Training Opportunities
Approved by Committee on Workforce, Job Development and Training Opportunities.

Full Text of Legislation:



BE IT ORDAINED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners, that Chapter 34 Finance, Article IV, Division 9, Sec. 34-349 through Sec. 34-357 of the Cook County Code is hereby enacted as follows:


Sec. 34-349.    Established; purpose.


            There is hereby established the Cook County Re-entry Employment/Bid Incentive Ordinance, with the goal of working in conjunction with the Cook County Re-entry Employment Project to help adults who are former offenders and residents of the County find employment opportunities as a strategy for increasing public safety and reducing recidivism.  Whereas, the Cook County Re-entry Employment Projects focuses on helping ex-offenders gain employment with the County, the Re-entry Employment/Bid Incentive Ordinance focuses on helping ex-offender gain employment in the private sector with companies wishing to do business with Cook County.



Sec. 34-350.    Definitions.


            For purposes of this Ordinance only, the following definitions apply:


            Bid Incentive means an amount deducted, for bid evaluation purposes only, from the total bid price that is attributable to the labor costs, in order to calculate the bid price to be used to evaluate the bid on a competitively bid construction project.


            Committee means Cook County Re-entry Employment Committee.


            Contract shall mean the agreement, if any, which is approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners between the County and a Contractor.


            Contractor shall mean the individual(s) or business entity, if any, with whom or with which the County enters into a Contract.


            Earned Credit means the amount of the bid incentive allocated to a contractor upon completion of a construction project in which the contractor met or exceeded his or her goals for the utilization of Former Offenders in performance of the total labor hours performed under the contract.


            Earned Credit Certificate means a certificate issued by the Purchasing Agent evidencing the amount of earned credit a contractor has been awarded.


            Former Offenders means adults who are former offenders and residents of the County.


            Labor hours means the total hours of workers receiving an hourly wage who are directly employed at the work site.  “Labor hours” shall include hours performed by workers employed by the contractor and all subcontractors working at the work site.  “Labor hours” shall not include hours worked by non-working foremen, superintendents, owners and workers who are not subject to prevailing wage requirements.


            Using Department shall mean the Departments or Agencies within Cook County government which will receive the Deliverables or Solutions in the Contract entered into between the County and the Contractor.


Sec. 34-351.    Re-entry Employment Committee.


(a)   The re-entry employment committee will work with non profits to find suitable former offenders to be candidates for to work with private companies on county contracts.  The re-entry employment committee will contain of seven members consisting of:


(1)   a representative of the Cook County Bureau of Human Resources;


(2)   a representative of the Cook County Office of Capital Planning and Policy;


(3)   a representative of the President’s Office of Employment and Training;


(4)   a representative of the Bureau of Finance (if the Committee is finding candidates for a collection contract, this representative shall be specifically from the Cook County Department of Revenue);


(5)   a representative recommended by the Contract Compliance Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and appointed by the County Board;


(6)   a representative of a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reintegrate former Offenders into society;


(7)   a representative appointed by the President of the Cook County Board of  Commissioners;


(b)   The County shall work with nonprofit organizations, approved by the Board of Commissioners, whose missions are to help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter their communities and reduce recidivism.  These nonprofits will work with the President’s Office of Employment and Training to create pools of individuals that can take classes, in State certified programs, to learn a trade so the Cook County Re-entry Employment Committee can recommend these individuals to companies, seeking contracts with a value of $50,000, for these companies to hire to work on the contracted project.  Contractors will not be required to use former offenders recommended by the Cook County Re-entry Employment Committee, but will receive bid incentives if the choose to do so.  The trades that former offenders can learn include, but are not limited to, all construction trades, collection services and auto repair.


Sec. 34-352.    Bid incentive.


(a)   For any contracts advertised for bid after the effective date of this Ordinance having an estimated contract value of $50,000 or more, and where not otherwise prohibited by federal, state or local law, the Purchasing Agent shall allocate to any qualified bidder the following bid incentive for utilization of Former Offenders in performance of the total hours performed under contract.


            Total Labor Hours Performed by Former Offenders                    Bid Incentive

                          5 to 10%                                                                     ½ % of bid price

                        11 to 15%                                                                     1% of bid price


(b)   The bid incentive shall be calculated and applied in accordance with the provisions of Section 34-353.  The bid incentive is used only to calculate an amount to be used in evaluating the bid.  The bid incentive does not affect the contract price.


(c)   For all contracts advertised after the effective date of this Ordinance, the Purchasing Agent shall include the bid incentive provision in all such advertisements.


(d)   Bidders wishing to utilize former offenders in their contract may request that the R­e-entry Employment Committee provide them a list of candidates from which to choose to include as a part of their bid.  If the bidder already employs former offenders or wishes to get potential candidates on their own, they may do so and include them in their bid with proof that the former offender has completed a certified training program in the trade that they will be performing.  Any bids that include former offenders who were not recommended by the Re-entry Employment Committee, the bid must be reviewed and approved by the Committee to be eligible for bid incentives.


(e)   All contractors using former offenders will submit a utilization plan with their bid.


Sec. 34-353.    Earned credits.


Upon the completion of a contract subject to this section, a contractor may apply to the Purchasing Agent for earned credits if the contractor met or exceeded his or her Former Offender utilization goals established in the contract.  If the Purchasing Agent determines that the contractor has successfully met his or her Former Offender utilization goals, the Purchasing Agent shall issue an Earned Credit Certificate that evidences the amount of earned credits allocated to the contractor.  The contractor may apply the earned credits as the bid incentive for any future construction project contract bid of equal or greater dollar value.


The Earned Credit Certificate is valid for twelve 3 years from the date of issuance and shall not be applied towards any future contract bid after the expiration of that period.


Sec. 34-354.    Contractor’s records.


The contractor shall maintain accurate and detailed books and records necessary to monitor compliance with this section and shall submit such reports as required by the Office of Purchasing, the Office of Contract Compliance, or the Using Department.


Full access to the contractor’s and subcontractors’ records shall be granted to the Office of Purchasing Agent, the Office of Contract Compliance, or the Using Department, or any duly authorized representative thereof.  The contractor and subcontractors shall maintain all relevant records for a period of at least three (3) years after final acceptance of the work.


Sec. 34-355.    Review of contract performance.


(a)   The Contract Compliance Administrator shall review the contractor's efforts during the performance of the contract to achieve its employment of former offender commitments as stated in its utilization plan. If the contractor meets or exceeds its stated goals, it shall be presumed to be in compliance. Where the Contract Compliance Administrator finds that the contractor has failed to achieve its stated goals or otherwise has failed to comply with the requirements of the division, including failure to provide any documentation required by the Contract Compliance Administrator, has not satisfactorily demonstrated good faith efforts, and/or has deviated without authorization from the compliance related portions of the contract as originally approved, the Contract Compliance Administrator shall report findings to the Contract Compliance Committee.


(b)   The Contract Compliance Administrator may establish such requirements for periodic contractor reporting on the fulfillment of its goals and its utilization of Protected Class Enterprises as the Contract Compliance Administrator determines appropriate and necessary for effective enforcement of this division. A contractor also shall be required to provide the Contract Compliance Administrator any additional requested compliance documentation within 14 days of such request.


(c)   If the Contract Compliance Committee determines that the contractor has failed to comply with its contractual commitments or any portion of this division, the Contract Compliance Committee will notify the contractor of such noncompliance and may take any of the following actions:


(1)   Instruct the Comptroller to withhold 50 percent of the current progress payment due the prime contractor.


(2)   Withhold up to 100 percent of further progress payments until the contractor demonstrates that it is in compliance with the requirements of this division.


(3)   Debar the contractor from future bids or offers until the contractor demonstrates that it is in compliance with the requirements of this division.


Sec. 34-356.    Rules.


The Purchasing Agent is authorized to adopt, promulgate and enforce reasonable rules and regulations pertaining to the administration and enforcement of this Ordinance.


Sec. 34-357.    Effective date.


This Ordinance shall take effect sixty (60) days after its passage and approval.


The information contained in this web site is provided as a service to the community, and does not constitute legal advice. We try to provide the information as it is reflected in our records, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel or additional research of Cook County's laws and regulations.