Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

More Than 10,000 Job Seekers Participate on Day 2 of Rush Jobs Fair

Aug 9, 2011
Press Release

CONTACT: Renee Ferguson
(773) 224-6500 ofc.; (202) 674-0891 mobile
- or -
Sharon Jenkins
(202) 225-4372 ofc.; (202) 431-8191 mobile

"More than 4,700 people registered to participate in this two-day event and, this morning,about 1,000 people lined up before the doors opened at 10 a.m.
Don't tell me the people don't want to work!"

CHICAGO –– This morning, on the heels of a successful ‘Day 1’ jobs event yesterday, for certified MBE/WBE contractors, U. S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush briefed the media on the results of yesterday’s Vendor Fair at Kennedy-King College while also outlining what he hoped to accomplish at today’s event for job seekers.

“Yesterday, our entire city saw first-hand the professionalism, the passion and the determination of qualified minority- and women-owned contractors,” said Rush who, along with his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus are holding similar jobs events throughout the United States in the month of August.  

“Several weeks ago, my staff and I identified 27 transportation companies that are planning to hire more than 2,000 new employees. We found that freight trains are rolling.  Many of our biggest rail companies are making profits and they’re hiring. It’s a hopeful sign for the economy.  

“Between yesterday and today, however, I hope what our city and the entire nation sees is that people in this community, and thousands of others like it, want to work. It’s a canard to say that our people don’t want to work and, likewise, that federal expenditures don’t make a difference.  Our office has had more than 4,700 people register on our website to attend today’s event and dozens more have called all three of my offices.  Yesterday, we had solid participation from qualified contractors and more than a dozen public and private agencies and companies who have contract dollars to award.   And this morning in the sweltering heat, before the doors opened at 10 a.m., we had well over a thousand men and women of all ages show up on the parking lot with their suits on, their clothes pressed and resumes in hand.  Why?  Because they’re ready to work!

“Those who perpetuate the myth that the public sector has no role in stimulating the economy should simply get out of the public sector because they’re wrong!  The response in this community by those with jobs and those who are seeking jobs and contracting opportunities prove it.  As a member of Congress, I’m proud of the work we’ve done under this President to allocate the dollars necessary in the public sector that can, in turn, attract private sector resources and investment in jobs.” 

Congressman Rush identified 27 transportation sector companies that are planning to hire thousands of workers for new jobs.  The companies that are hiring include railroads, airlines, trucking, public transit, hauling and other transportation businesses.  In addition, companies working on rail and highway infrastructure improvements in Chicago and Northeastern Illinois will also be present.  Some of the job interviews will occur as part of the CREATE Program, a $3 billion project aimed at reducing railroad congestion and improving the air quality for residents living near train yards. 

The new construction of bridges and tracks will be an economic driver for the Chicago community and the 1st Congressional District for at least a decade.  This economic development is expected to lay the foundation for the Midwestern portion of our nation’s high speed rail system.

“I believe that people who get hired at the start of this railroad infrastructure project will, potentially, have work for decades.  The transportation sector is doing well and I believe their growth is an early indicator of an economic recovery,” said Rush.

“I’m grateful for the 27 transportation companies, associations and federal agencies who stepped up to the plate today to meet the people of my community one-on-one.  But I want the naysayers to note that sitting side by side with the private sector are managers and recruiters from Federal Railroad Administration, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association as well as representatives from the U.S. Air Force, the United States Army, the Coast Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps.  These are essential government agencies, staffed by outstanding professionals and, yes, paid for by our tax dollars.  All of the resources from our great nation—from the public and private sectors—are essential to the growth and stability of our nation.

 “I am grateful to the leadership of Kennedy-King College and Chicago State University who have so graciously made their space available for this important two-day event.  My hope and prayer is that all those who showed up yesterday and today will find work as a result of the work we’ve done over the last 48 hours.”

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NOTE:  Here’s a link to a list of participating employers as posted on our website.