Alderman Gilbert Villegas has spent his entire career serving others. Since being honorably discharged from the Marines, he has served in government, non-profits and for profit companies, each time successfully bringing new opportunities to businesses and employees. He plans to use his experience in each of these sectors to serve as a strong member of the City Council and bring strong leadership to the new 36th Ward.
Alderman Villegas served as Chief of Staff position at the Illinois Capital Development Board. Alderman Villegas oversaw a staff of 140 State personnel, a $25 million operating budget and a $3.9 billion dollar capital construction program. 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 8,500 plus state-owned buildings containing more than 96 million square-feet of floor space.
From 2008 to 2011, Alderman Villegas was the Associate Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association. At HACIA he oversaw Government Affairs for the organization and 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. Alderman Villegas successfully created the Minority Contractor Training Program, which trained over 300 businesses that sought to perform on federally and state funded infrastructure projects.
Prior to joining HACIA, Alderman Villegas served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Business and Workforce Diversity at the Illinois Department of Transportation. As the Deputy Director he oversaw two departments: the Bureaus of Small Business Enterprises and the statewide District Equal Employment Opportunity Contract Compliance Officers.
Alderman Villegas was previously a member of Teamster 734 where he served as the Teamster Union Steward, representing over 300 Teamster drivers and dockworkers. As the Teamster Union Steward, Alderman Villegas ensured that workers’ rights were protected and the collective bargaining agreement were adhered to.
Alderman Villegas is a U.S. Marine and served during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Alderman Villegas was assigned to the 2nd Light Anti-Aircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion in Yuma, AZ prior to his deployment. After being honorably discharged Alderman Villegas attended Northeastern Illinois University.
Alderman Villegas currently serves on the Steinmetz College Preparatory LSC, Shabbona and Bell Park Advisory Councils, ALL Chicago Board to end homelessness, ELITE Veteran Owned Small Business Advisory Board and the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation.