Beginning in Program Year 2023-24, each participating Approved Vendor and Designee must meet a required minimum percentage of their project workforce that includes Equity Eligible Persons, with this required percentage increasing to 30% by 2030. Definitions of equity eligible persons, the minimum workforce percentages, and key steps and dates for compliance, are provided at the Program website’s Equity Accountability System page. The MES requirement for the 2023-24 Program year is 10% EEPs for an entity’s workforce and the MES for the 2024-25 Program year is 12% EEPs for an entity’s workforce. Future Program years’ percentages will be determined by the IPA through the update to the Long-Term Plan.
On April 14, 2023, the Agency launched the Minimum Equity Standard (MES) for Illinois Shines, including the publication of the Minimum Equity Standard Compliance Plan submission form, and associated resources and support, updated instructional content at the Program website’s Equity Accountability System page, an MES sample document to preview the Compliance Plan submission form, a Guide to the Equity Accountability System, FAQs on the Minimum Equity Standard, past webinars regarding compliance with equity requirements, MES Waiver Request and Rationale document, and MES-specific expanded office hours which are being held each Friday through May 26, 2023. The deadline for submitting MES Compliance Plans for Program Year 2023-2024 is June 1, 2023. The Compliance Plan will reflect how the Approved Vendor or Designee plans to achieve compliance with the Minimum Equity Standard percentage for work completed in the upcoming program year.
Resources in support of MES Compliance for Program year 2023-2024 include the following (bullet points are linked):
- Guide to the Equity Accountability System & Illinois Shines
- MES Compliance Plan submission form
- MES Compliance Plan questions sample
- Minimum Equity Standard Waiver Request
- Minimum Equity Standard FAQs (last edited May 25, 2023)
Upcoming MES Support Office Hours – Join using the link: https://energy-solution.zoom.us/j/95588710302Co
- Friday, June 2 – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CPT