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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Talented entrepreneurs and emerging businesses networked with established firms and government agencies at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD) Diverse Business Summit to stimulate more working partnerships to join the MWRD in protecting the region’s water environment.

The MWRD’s Diverse Business Summit held on Oct. 17, at Kennedy-King College, 740 W. 63rd St., provided potential vendors with a valuable opportunity to learn about the MWRD, its contracts and certification benefits, while also meeting with other contractors and government partner agencies. The MWRD held panel discussions, made department heads available for one-on-one meetings, and offered a match-making session that connected businesses with MWRD personnel and key contractors.

“From prime contractors to sub-consultants, this event promoted diversity and assisted companies young and old with a range of professional opportunities that strive to strengthen our economy and environment,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “Our goal is for the Diverse Business Summit to connect with the diverse communities that we serve.”

Operating a $1.4-billion budget in 2023, the MWRD serves 5.19 million residents living in Chicago and 128 surrounding communities. Each day the MWRD transforms the region’s wastewater into clean water, protects local water quality in Lake Michigan and area waterways, and mitigates flooding through a robust stormwater management program. The MWRD can afford to meet this range of services because it maintains a stable financial outlook with an AAA credit rating from Fitch Ratings, an AA+ rating from S&P Global and a Aa1 credit rating from Moody’s Investor Services, which recently upgraded its rating for the MWRD in 2023.

The MWRD has placed new emphasis on enhancing vendor opportunities for companies looking to work with the agency. In its ongoing five-year Strategic Plan, the MWRD highlighted community engagement as one of its five priority goals. Under this goal, the MWRD listed enhancing the experience of vendors that do business with the MWRD, increasing diverse participation in MWRD contracts and expanding partnerships and focusing outreach on specific groups. The Strategic Plan, adopted in 2021 by the MWRD Board of Commissioners, expanded its values of excellence, respect, innovation, safety and accountability to also include equity and diversity, developing the framework to reach its goals documented in the plan.

“We want to ensure everyone has access to economic opportunities as we tackle the major challenge of protecting our region’s water environment,” said MWRD Commissioner Eira L. Corral Sepúlveda. “By joining us at our Diverse Business Summit, we hope professionals and rising businesses have an opportunity to grow and build meaningful connections.”

A trailblazer in creating diverse business opportunities, the MWRD was one of the first local agencies to implement an Affirmative Action ordinance, dating back to 1978. In December 2022, the MWRD Board of Commissioners revised its Affirmative Action Ordinance to improve and streamline its verification procedures and certification process to better accommodate potential business opportunities. That followed a Disparity Study that the MWRD commissioned to gain a better understanding of how to remove barriers for firms owned by minorities and women to compete for MWRD contracts.

To learn more about MWRD business opportunities, visit, email or call 312-751-4040.

Press Release
Education, Events

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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