ENGLEWOOD — A career expo aimed at helping at-risk youth by providing them with career options attracted people of all ages, including 57-year old Feliciano Pelayo.
"I was a truck driver for five-years before I was laid off," he said. "I heard about the expo through some friends who come here to get their hair cut and thought I come to see if there was anything here for me."
Pelayo, who is married with five adult children, has lived in Englewood for seven years and has been out of work since October 2011.
"This would be perfect for me if I could get back behind the wheel again," Pelayo said. "I miss being on the road and making money to take care of my family."
A career in trucking seemed to dominate the interest of about 20 people who attended the expo Monday from noon to 5 p.m.
"I love to drive. I would give my right arm to be a truck driver," said Kenny Bruster, 45, who lives in the Washington Heights neighborhood on the South Side. "There are not a lot of industries open for people with limited skills and no college education, but the trucking industry is wide open."
Julius McKinney was among the employers at the expo. He founded Full Time Logistics LLC in 2010, a Chicago trucking driving school.
"It does not take much beyond having a 'clean' driving record to become a truck driver. It is 'background' friendly for people with felonies (as long as it was not for a violent felony such as murder)," explained McKinney. "A high school diploma or GED is not required either, which is why so many people are interested in becoming a truck driver."
McKinney added that unlike most truck driving schools that charge on average $3,900 for a four-week training class, his company only charges $2,500.
"Cost is definitely a factor when it comes to going to a trade school so I try to keep costs at a minimum," said McKinney, who does not possess a Commercial Drivers License, which is required by the state to become a truck driver.