Secrets of the Job Hunt


Friday, August 01, 2008

14,800 New Illinois Jobs to be Created in Joliet

Construction of a massive intermodal rail facility in Joliet will soon create at least 14,800 new Illinois jobs. The City Council recently approved, by a 8-0 vote, the annexation of a large portion of the land needed for the project and authorized concept plans for it.

More than 150 people attended the meeting to discuss views on the 3,600 acre endeavor which will include a rail year and industrial development. Although many local homeowners had a variety of concerns, union leaders stated that this project is much needed in order to help people find jobs. Issues with the project included traffic, pollution and the amount of money residents will receive if they sell their property.

“It disrupts a lot of live,” said Councilman Joe Shetina, “but it brings a lot of opportunity.”
According to officials with CenterPoint Properties, which is based in Oak Brook, this project will be company’s largest to date. They expected that it will create 5,900 construction jobs during the course of the next 10 to 15 years. Since construction is an industry that has taken a hard hit from the housing market slump, these positions are extremely important. On top of this, another 8,900 new employees will be needed for the rail yard, trucking and other surrounding industrial developments.

CenterPoint has already signed an agreement stating that it will use union labor on the project. The company is also in the process of working out to details to set aside a portion of jobs for minority workers and contractors.

Officials with the company said that they will continue negotiations with homeowners near the project site. Offers to buy will remain on the table until late August.

Preliminary work on the project is scheduled to begin this year. Construction of the rail yard has been scheduled to start in 2009 and end in 2010.

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