The Illinois Tollway will soon put on the free 2012 Road Work Ahead: Construction Careers Expo to help anyone looking to make a career out of construction learn the skills they will need, the Buffalo Grove Patch reports.
The tollway is hoping to prepare workers for several massive projects that are in the state's pipeline, all of which are part of a 15-year, $12 billion capital program titled "Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future."
"The construction industry is projected to gain as many as 1.8 million new jobs in the U.S. before 2020," said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. "Our goal is to bring together people interested in roadway construction careers with unions and training resources to help get new workers started."
According to the media outlet, the expo will be held at the Prairie State College Business and Community Education Center in Chicago Heights. The event will host a presentation from the trade councils of Chicago and Cook Counties that will cover the necessary skills construction workers will need to grab the positions that will soon open up. The councils will also speak on the various career options and training programs that are available, and give those engaged in job searching the opportunity to meet with trade union representatives from the Chicago area.
"This is the first construction careers expo event ever hosted by the Illinois Tollway," said Tollway Board Director David Gonzalez. "The Tollway plans to invest $12 billion on roadway infrastructure over the next 15 years and we are committed to having a skilled and diverse workforce on our projects."
The expo will provide extensive information on finding work as an architectural ironworker, carpenter, cement worker, electrician, laborer or operating engineer.
Building a better jobs environment
The new construction projects will help Illinois bring its employment rate down even further, after dropping for the first time three months, the Chicago Sun Times reports.
According to the news provider, the jobless rate dropped to 8.8 percent in September from August, which came as Illinois added 13,800 jobs. This is compared with the 9,600 jobs that were added between July and August.
"Today’s news is encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth," Jay Rowell, director of the state Department of Employment Security, said in a statement. "What we don’t know is how federal decisions regarding the fiscal cliff will impact Illinois’ economy."