April 2014

America’s Central Port Hosts Career Day for Area Students

IDOT Joins Forces with Metro East Schools, Introduces Middle and High School Students to Careers in Transportation

Career Day Welcomes Hundreds of Area Students, Provides Fun, Educational Opportunity

GRANITE CITY – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today hosted hundreds of middle and high school students for the agency’s eighth Career Day event at America’s Central Port in Granite City. The event is a workforce development tool that introduces students, through hands-on activities and heavy equipment demonstrations, to careers in the transportation industry.

“Career Day is an exciting opportunity for IDOT employees, schools and industry partners to inform, inspire and expose students to the many rewarding careers in transportation,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “We want students to know that through education and hard work, they may someday be able to help us build strong roads and bridges, improve our railways and fly our planes.”

Approximately 300 middle and high school students from 14 different schools were in attendance for today’s event. Students were exposed to more than 40 exhibits, which includes hands-on activities and several pieces of heavy equipment on display used to build and maintain Illinois’ multimodal transportation system.

The careers highlighted include civil engineering, engineering technology, safety engineering, surveying and construction trades. In addition to hearing about specific career opportunities, students also were provided with information about construction careers and IDOT safety campaigns. Career Day attendees also received a hard hat and safety glasses, as well as other items, provided by businesses in the transportation field.

Port District Looks to Expand Boundaries

Background: Who Is America’s Central Port?
Created in 1959, America’s Central Port, owned and operated by Tri-City Regional Port
District, is a leading economic developer in Southwestern Illinois. Located just north of downtown St. Louis, on the Illinois side of the River, America’s Central Port is a 1,200-acre intermodal industrial and business campus. Run by a staff of 35 and a 7-member Board of Commissioners, the Port and their 70+ tenants as has an annual impact of $282 million and supports an estimated 1,500 jobs in Madison County.

The Port District’s current boundaries include the townships of Granite City, Venice, Nameoki, and Chouteau, located in Southwestern Madison County. The Port’s operators can handle in excess of 2.5 million tons annually by barge.

What is being proposed?
The Port District is proposing to extend its current boundaries to the north to include the townships of Wood River, Alton, Godfrey, Elsah, and Quarry; which are located in Madison and Jersey Counties . For this expansion to occur, the Port’s enabling legislation must be amended to expand the current Port District boundaries. Currently, proposed language has been submitted into the Illinois Legislature for consideration by the House and Senate. The legislation not only will expand the territory of the Port, but will also increase the the size of the Board to nine members, expand the Port’s economic development powers, and allow for more efficient access to capital for development purposes.

Benefits for local communities and residents?
The proposed expansion would allow the Port to assist in the economic growth of these communities, using past experiences as tools for guidance and leadership, partnering with the community and business leaders in this effort. Growth and investment endeavors would bring jobs to these areas. The greatest impact the Port can have is through development of land it owns or can own through the donation of property to the Port . The Port has seen over $300 million in private funds invested at its property in Madison and Granite City, IL.

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