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South Side Tollway Jobs Fair Expecting To Draw More Than 1,000 Candidates

 The Illinois Tollway's Career Opportunities Expo is at New Beginnings Church Friday.
The Illinois Tollway's Career Opportunities Expo is at New Beginnings Church Friday.
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DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

GRAND CROSSING — The Illinois Tollway’s free Career Opportunities Expo on Friday will bring together more than 50 agencies, organizations and businesses.

Attendees will be offered employment readiness workshops, information on apprenticeships and job opportunities. The Rev. Corey Brooks, who is a member of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority Board, is hosting the career fair at New Beginnings Church, 6620 S. King Drive, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The expo is being held in the community because “we wanted to go where the greatest need is,” he said.

State agencies, businesses, construction trades and organizations will be on site to meet with people one-on-one. Participants will get the chance to learn about career opportunities at state and regional agencies such as the Department of Central Management Services, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Veteran Services, Illinois Department of Corrections, Metra and Pace.

Representatives will share information about employment readiness and job opportunities. There will also be breakout sessions to discuss construction career opportunities and training programs

Chicago City Colleges, Dawson Technical College, Prairie State College, South Suburban College and the Chicago Urban League will provide information about programs to prepare workers for the industry. The Illinois Department of Employment Security will offer workshops on resume writing and show participants how to access the JobLink website, which helps prospective employees obtain information about private sector jobs.

Brooks said the last component was added based on feedback.

“We heard from a lot of people that a lot of times they don’t know how to go about in getting these positions,” he said. “They don’t even know they’re available.”

The expo is a great opportunity to bring more diversity to the workforce, he said, and it is open for people on all career levels.

“It’s an opportunity for people, regardless of where they are in their career, to get to the next level,” he said. “I think a lot of times when people think of the tollway, they think of the toll booths, but what they need to understand is that the tollway is way more than just the booths. The tollway encompasses billions of dollars worth of contracts and opportunities for people.”

More than 1,000 have pre-registered, Brooks said. Online registration is closed, but people can register on-site Friday as early as 9 a.m.

“We’re not turning anyone away,” he said. “I believe a lot of people are going to walk away with jobs and with the help they need.”

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