QC group wants to help disenfranchised residents get construction jobs

April  29, 2013

Local congregations want to help minorities, women, and low income residents learn the skills they need to get good jobs in tranportation. Tonight, Quad Cities Interfaith will host a meeting with Ann Schneider, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation. 

Interfaith Director, Leslie Kilgannon, says unemployed residents need training now, so they can be hired when passenger rail service returns and a new, I-74 bridge is built.  Interfaith's main initiative is called "100 Ready Workers." She hopes the Illinois DOT agrees to work with Quad Cities congregations and that a community college will help train jobless workers.

Members of her organization and religious leaders also plan to meet with contractors who will work on the two projects, making sure everyone who applies has an equal chance of getting hired.

Over the past couple of years, Quad Cities Interfaith and other groups have co-hosted construction employment workshops to teach people how to apply for jobs and interviewing skills. In addition, it hosted a Transportation Equity Community Summit to promote job training and workforce diversity.