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'Hire Chicago' Initiative Seeking To Fill 10,000 Jobs In Chicago Area

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Not only is it the middle of the week, we're smack dab in the middle of huge initiative to get you back to work or in a new position you love.

Ten thousand jobs are ready for filling; several in the growing sector of transportation, distribution and logistics.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory takes us inside two companies trying to fuel their fleets.

The Chicago metro area is home to more than 9 million people, which means a lot of packages out for delivery on any given day.

UPS is just one of several companies tasked with meeting our online ordering demands, and the company's Hodgkins-based location is low on supply of drivers.

"You got sleeping facilities in the back," Rommel Carlson said, also pointing out the microwave, fridge, and closet in the new UPS sleeper rigs.

Carlson is the director of human resources in the Chicago region, and looking to fill 300 sleeper driver positions to make more than 100 transportation teams.

"One sleeps, one drives, and they alternate; and that enables us to really, really shave off time in transit," explains Carlson.

You'll need a commercial driver's license, and something called doubles endorsement, meaning the ability to pull tandem trailers; but once you pass those hurdles, the job comes with a starting salary of $150,000, a pension, and full benefits.

The catch? You're on the road Monday through Friday. Carlson is able to offer a hiring incentive.

"Right now, we just started a signing bonus of $8,750," he said, adding that in his decades working in human resources, the hiring climate right now is "tight."

Patrice Brazil is also desperately recruiting.

"The need is dire. Our company is growing exponentially," said Brazil of Worldwide Flight Services, an aviation cargo company.

She's looking for 100 people to help sort and distribute international cargo at O'Hare and Midway airports. Even with no experience needed, flexible hours, and the option for part-time work, she has been forced to search high and low.

"[We're] advertising as many different places that we can," Brazil said.

That includes Worldwide Flight Services' participation in "Hire Chicago 2021."

The five-week long effort by the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago, and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership targets different industries each week.

"Hire Chicago" is wrapping up a four-day focus on food service, hospitality, and tourism jobs right now; with a turn to transportation, distribution and logistics beginning August 16.

The goal between August 2-September 2 is to match 10,000 employees with 250 employers in our area. It's a huge endeavor, but one that's much more than a virtual job fair.

"Monday and Tuesday are spent on workshops, learning about the different fields. We also do pre-screening," said Karin Norington-Reaves, CEO of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership.

Wednesdays and Thursdays are filled with internet interviews.

"It gives us all the chance to just talk about the position in a very relaxed atmosphere," said Brazil of the virtual meetings.

"Hire Chicago" participants like UPS are even ready to give condition job offers on the spot.

"Hopefully, we get the word out," said Carlson, who is gearing up for another round of new hires: seasonal positions for the holidays.

You can sign up for "Hire Chicago" at any time.

"We have had more than 2,000 people registered and participating, and we still have room to accommodate many, many more," said Norington-Reaves.

Transportation, distribution and logistics companies participating in Hire Chicago next week include:

  • AllSTEM Connections
  • Alpha Transportation
  • Amazon
  • Balton Corporation
  • CH Robinson
  • Chicago Beverage Systems
  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
  • Dot Foods Inc
  • Ecentria-Optics Planet
  • Employee Benefit Systems Group Inc
  • FedEx Express
  • Greater West Town Training Partnership
  • ICNC
  • InterPark
  • Johnstone Supply
  • MO Routes LLC
  • Optics Planet
  • PRIDE Industries
  • Prologistix
  • Rivera On-Point Logistics
  • Rozalado Services
  • Safer Foundation
  • Salvation Army
  • Schlep
  • Spectra Merchandising International, Inc.
  • SURESTAFF Services
  • Unishippers CHDN
  • United Ground Express
  • UPS
  • Worldwide Flight Services
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