CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider today welcomed hundreds of area students to the agency’s annual Career Day conference in Chicago. The event began in 2008 to inform Illinois students of the many rewarding opportunities in the transportation industry, and attracted dozens of companies and universities across the region.
“Across state agencies in Illinois, we continue to focus on equipping students with the essential cost-effective educational resources, knowledge and skills they need for future job prospects,” Governor Quinn said. “IDOT’s successful Career Day series exemplifies our commitment to pool existing resources together, incessantly inform our young scholars of potential public and private sector opportunities, and spark interest for good-paying careers in industries found statewide.”
Approximately 300 students were expected at today’s event. Students could tour more than 40 exhibits, along with several pieces of heavy equipment used to build and maintain Illinois’ system of highways and bridges, and participated in hands-on activities throughout the day.
“Career Day is an exceptional and popular forum, where students are provided with a thorough understanding of the transportation industry at an early age, along with insightful information and tools to better illustrate rewarding career paths in transportation,” said Secretary Schneider. “We have hosted events like this across the state, and because of previous accomplishments and demand, are proud to bring the conference back to Chicago this year.”
The careers highlighted included civil engineering, engineering technology, safety engineering, and surveying and construction trades. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as many as 1 million new jobs are expected to be available in the construction industry by 2016, along with numerous other job opportunities in other sectors of transportation as baby boomers retire.
In addition to learning about career opportunities, students were provided with information about construction careers, including brochures and bookmarks. Attendees also received items such as a hard hat, and safety glasses provided by industry partners.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) partnered with representatives of the transportation industry, educational institutions and community-based organizations to host this event. For additional information about Career Day, please visit http://www.dot.il.gov/careerday/BI.html