Economic Opportunities

Economic Opportunities.  Improve access to HUD contracting and economic development opportunities for minority and women business enterprises. Communities that have the ability to access economic opportunities will have resources to remain sustainable and to plan for growth.

HOW: Developing a W/MBE and Sec 3 Contracting plan and Microenterprise Program


The Will County Community Development Division is committed to providing equal opportunity for woman and minority business enterprises (W/MBE) for firms in, or related to the construction industry funded with HUD funds.  Awarded Community Development subgrantees are required to outreach to W/MBE businesses with contracting opportunities. 

If you are a certified W/MBE and want to get notified of contracting opportunities, please register with us.  If you are a contractor that registers with the Will County Building Department, please also indicate status on your annual contractor registration and submit certification documents to the contact below.

Certification Process

Will County will accept certification from the entities listed below.  Please submit certification documentation using this registration form to be included in the Will County registry.  

  • City of Chicago
  • Cook County
  • Illinois Department of Central Management
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Woman's Business Enterprise National Council
  • Woman-Owned Small Business Certification through sba.gov

If you are not already certified by one of the agencies outlined above, and are interested in being certified, please contact staff for options.

Erin Bertocchi

Email: ebertocchi@willcountylanduse.com

Subject: MBE/WBE/DBE Registry

Section 3

Will County Section 3 Plan

The purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance shall, to the greatest extent feasible, and consistent with existing Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, be directed toward low- and very low-income persons or business concerns residing in the community where the project is located.  Section 3 is part of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended by Section 915 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992.

 Section 3 Worker means:
Any worker who currently fits or when hired within the past five years fit at least one of the following categories:

  • Worker’s income for the previous or annualized calendar year is below the income limit established by HUD; or
  • Worker is employed by a Section 3 business concern; or
  • Worker is a YouthBuild participant.

Targeted Section 3 Worker is a person that meets one of the following criteria:

  • Worker is employed by a Section 3 business concern; or
  • Worker currently fits or when hired fit at least one of the following categories, as documented within the past five years:
    • Living within the service area or the neighborhood of the project, as defined in 24CFR Part 75.5;
    • A YouthBuild participant

Section 3 eligibility is based on individual income limits (household of 1) regardless of actual household size:


1 person

80% AMI (gross income)    



Section 3 Business Concern is a business that meets one of the following criteria:

  • Business is majority (51%) owned by low-income Section 3 individual; or
  • Over 75% of the labor hours performed for the business over the prior three-month period are performed by Section 3 workers; or
  • Business is at least 51% owned and controlled by current public housing residents or residents who currently live in Section 8-assisted housing.

Who is subject to Section 3?

Section 3 projects are housing rehabilitation, housing construction, and other public construction projects assisted under HUD programs (HOME and CDBG) that provide housing and community development financial assistance when the total amount of assistance to the project exceeds a threshold of $200,000.  

Any tier contracting for $200,000 or less is not responsible for complying with Section 3; however, it is encouraged that any contractor or new hire which qualifies as Section 3 be documented and reported to meet the numerical objectives as a whole.

What are Section 3 requirements?

To the greatest extend feasible all subgrantees/developers, contractors and subcontractors working on Section 3 covered projects must document their efforts to meet the following numerical Section 3 goals:

  • Twenty five (25) percent or more of the total number of labor hours worked by all workers on a Section 3 project must be done by Section 3 workers; and
  • Five (5) percent or more of the total number of labor hours worked by all workers on a Section 3 project must be done by Targeted Section 3 workers

Section 3 Certification

Why should an individual or business become certified as Section 3?  Any entity receiving federal funding through HUD for a construction project will be required to solicit bids and/or new hires from Section 3 registry.

Does being self-certified as a Section 3 Business mean that a firm is automatically entitled to HUD-funded contracts? A Section 3 business is not entitled to a contract simply by being listed in the HUD Section 3 Business Registry database. Section 3 businesses may need to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the recipient agency (i.e., Public Housing Authority, local government agency, developer, etc.) that they are a responsible bidder with the ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of prospective contracts. The Section 3 regulation at 24 CFR Part 75.5 provides preference to Section 3 businesses that submit responsible bids for contracts and subcontracts, but does not guarantee the award of contracts.

Section 3 Business Registry

The Section 3 Business Registry is a registry of businesses that have self-certified their status as Section 3 Businesses. Businesses who self-certify that they meet one of the regulatory definitions of a Section 3 business will be included in a searchable online database. The database can be used by agencies that receive HUD funds, developers, contractors, and others to facilitate the award of covered construction and non-construction contracts to Section 3 businesses. Section 3 residents are also encouraged to use the registry to identify businesses that may have HUD-funded employment opportunities.

The Will County Community Development Division requires notice of bid opportunities be sent directly to any appropriate contractor identified on the Section 3 Business Registry for projects partially assisted with federal funds allocated to Will County through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.  Any contractor looking to solicit a Section 3 Business can visit HUD’s Section 3 Business Registry for the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL HUD Metro Metropolitan Area: