Students explore construction trades at 2023 Skilled Trades Career Fair

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

A three-day, in-person career fair Mar. 1  to 3 gave CPS students an up-close look at postsecondary opportunities in skilled trades. More than 3,000 CPS middle school and high school students had opportunities to meet experts and companies offering potential employment, training, and internship opportunities to young adults ages 16-24.

“Exposing our students to opportunities in the skilled trades is just as important as preparing them for college, and events like the Skilled Trades Career Fair show that students can take advantage of great opportunities right here in their own backyard,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “We want every child, in every neighborhood, to dream about career possibilities and use the resources available to achieve those dreams and build fulfilling and meaningful lives.”

CPS currently offers more than 50 dpathways at over 80 high schools across the city, including 12 programs in construction trades, five in carpentry, three in electricity, three in welding, and one HVAC program.The District’s CTE programs allow students to gain work experience for in-demand careers as well as provide opportunities to earn early college credit and industry-recognized certifications and skills training at 12 CPS high schools.

Current CTE students showcased their work at the fair.

“There are many good paying careers that students are not aware of,” said Chancellor Juan Salgado, City Colleges of Chicago. “City Colleges is working closely with Chicago Public Schools to ensure Chicago students know about the exciting opportunities in fields like advanced manufacturing, IT, transportation, the construction trades, and more — and know that they can prepare for a high-demand career at City Colleges of Chicago.”

new study found that the transition to clean energy could create a net increase of more than 40,000 jobs in Illinois by 2030.

“Through our collaboration with CPS, CCC, and local agencies, ComEd is working to create equitable pathways to good-paying careers to help ensure that more women and people of color from our communities benefit from the growth of the dynamic energy industry,” said ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones.

ComEd supports Chicago Builds, a unique, two-year off-campus program that provides technical training in electricity and other skilled trades to CPS juniors and seniors.

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