A two-year pilot program is in the works to help support Springfield
School District minority students who want to explore jobs in
engineering and other related careers, reports the State
The city of Springfield, Sangamon County and
a the engineering firm Hanson Professional Services Inc. are teaming up
for the effort called the "minority participation plan," and each plan
to provide $20,000 per year for the program.
said it would work with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to
assist in prequalifying minority firms that want to take part in the
bidding process for contracts related to a $315 million, freight train
traffic consolidation project in Springfield.
The "minority participation plan" got the green light from the Springfield City Council last week, and the Sangamon County Board is set to take it up Tuesday.
and the Springfield School District are looking to seek out students in middle
school through college to take part in the program, which will include
engineering opportunities for minority students as part of the
Springfield Black Chamber of Commerce's Summer Youth Initiative, IDOT's
Highway Construction Careers Training Program, the University of
Illinois' National University Rail Center Diversity Programs, and
Also, Hanson plans to start an internship program for up
to three minority students each year. Minority U of I students are
expected to work with the youths as part of the overall "minority
More details about the
program will be be announced at an upcoming news conference scheduled
for December 16, according to officials.