Gilbert Villegas Jr. was recently appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to the Chief of Staff position at the Illinois Capital Development Board. As the construction management agency for Illinois state government since 1972, the Capital Development Board (CDB) oversees the construction of new state facilities, such as prisons, colleges and university classroom buildings, mental health hospitals and state parks. In addition, CDB is responsible for renovation and rehabilitation projects at the State’s 8,441 state-owned buildings containing more than 96 million square-feet of floor space. Mr. Villegas oversees a staff of 124 State personnel and a $25 million dollar operating budget.
The agency also works with the Illinois State Board of Education to administer grants for school construction and renovation to local elementary and secondary school districts through the School Construction Program. In addition to its construction duties, CDB also is responsible for the removal of hazardous materials such as asbestos and lead from state-owned facilities, the replacement of leaking underground storage tanks on state property and the remodeling of state buildings to accommodate persons with disabilities.
As the Associate Director at the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA) Mr. Villegas oversaw Government Affairs for the organization, as well as administered a variety of programs which focused on business and workforce development, apprenticeship training, minority/woman certification, and a universal spectrum of diversity advocacy in the public and private sectors of the construction industry. Mr. Villegas was responsible for ensuring HACIA had a presence and a voice at all levels of Government within the State of Illinois. Mr. Villegas recently spearheaded the development and lobbying efforts behind passage of two instrumental Illinois Senate Bills (SB 351 and SB3249), ensuring minority and women owned businesses have a principal opportunity to participate on state funded projects. These two Illinois Senate Bills have the ability to account for approximately $3-6 billion dollars in contracting opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.
Mr. Villegas has been recognized as a leader in promoting small and disadvantaged contracting within the mainstream of their industries. Prior to joining HACIA in May of 2008, Mr. Villegas served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Business and Workforce Diversity at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for 5 years. As the Deputy Director he oversaw two departments: the Bureaus of Small Business Enterprises and the statewide District Equal Employment Opportunity Contract Compliance Officers. During his tenure at IDOT, he helped to establish innovative programs which increased minority and women business participation and created On-the-Job Training (OJT) initiatives.
Mr. Villegas is a former U.S. Marine and served during Operations Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. His responsibilities included coordination of logistics and deployment of equipments needed for daily operations during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mr. Villegas was assigned to the 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion in Yuma, AZ prior to his deployment to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Mr. Villegas was honorably discharged after serving his country for four years. Mr. Villegas received numerous awards and honors while in the U.S. Marines.
Mr. Villegas’s career has been marked by service to others. Mr. Villegas is currently a board member on the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation, McCormick-Tribune YMCA and the Illinois Veterans Foundation. He also is a member of the Diversity Action Committee, Commissioner for the Village of Elmwood Park Zoning and Building Committee and Chairman of the Hispanic Political Action Committee of Illinois (HPAC).
Despite an active life and busy schedule, Mr. Villegas has found time to volunteer to a host of other nonprofit and grass root organizations providing technical assistance, guidance, training and mentoring. READ MORE