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For Immediate Release
With Illinois' clean energy transition underway, ComEd's annual Career Day invites local students to explore range of future career pathways
CHICAGO (October 18, 2023) – ComEd today hosted more than 2,000 students from across the region for its annual Career Day, a regional event designed to inspire area youth to explore a wide range of career paths in the energy field. Company leaders and representatives were on hand to connect with students, with more than 100 job booths and exhibits, on-site technology demonstrations, and informational sessions offered to help students discover a variety of rewarding career opportunities that are being created by the clean energy transition.
Getting more students interested in the energy and construction fields is a top priority for ComEd, as forecasts indicate a significant number of new jobs will be created to support the clean energy transition in Illinois. A recent ComEd commissioned study found that as many as 150,000 jobs supporting the transition to cleaner energy will be created in the state by the year 2050.
"The clean energy transition will create unlimited opportunities for our communities, as solar, EVs, and other innovative grid technologies grow considerably in the years ahead," said Gil C. Quiniones, CEO of ComEd. "With ComEd focused on developing a diverse, skilled, and local pipeline of talent, our annual Career Day plays a key role in exposing local students to careers that will enable them to have a lasting impact in our industry and on their community."
During the event, high school students had a chance to meet with representatives from across all corners of the company. On-site experiences included utility climbing demonstrations, drone pilots sharing how new technology is used to maintain and repair the grid more efficiently, and teams highlighting how goats are aiding in the effort to reduce outages and uphold reliability by keeping vegetation cleared in hard-to-reach transmission corridors. ComEd also had its helicopter and electric vehicles on site to demonstrate how the technology is used to support field crews in overseeing safe and reliable grid operations.
"Our students are always excited to engage in events hosted by our ComEd partners. Each site visit, tour, and panel is better than the last," said Curtis Lewis, Chicago Public Schools program manager for Chicago BUILDS. "ComEd is leading training and employment opportunities in clean energy here in the Chicagoland area and what excites our students the most is the variation of possibilities from solar, to drones, to the trades…. the options are abundant."
This year's Career Day was hosted at the NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, with students from more than 60 area high schools in attendance. The career fair is held in different areas of the ComEd northern Illinois service region on a rotating basis, with the goal of giving communities across the area access to these unique career sessions and the opportunity to network with company leaders.
"Just last week, our students at District 219 learned about the forecasted high demand for electricians, so it was great that these same students then got to connect with industry professionals at ComEd's Career Day. They were able to ask follow-up questions – not something that a traditional classroom environment or lesson-only session can provide," said Alexander Gutierrez, work-study teacher for Niles North and Niles West High Schools. "The chance for an up-close look and hands-on activities was impactful for our students who are considering careers in the trades, as well as those looking for careers in other fields. We look forward to coming back next year."
As one of the largest employers in the region, ComEd's team of 6,300 employees plays an important role in powering the lives and institutions of 9 million people living in northern Illinois. The clean energy transition presents exciting opportunities to join an industry that is poised for growth, as new talent will be needed to support the increase of EVs and solar coming onto the system, advancements to help the grid stand reliable and resilient in the face of climate change, and to ensure all ComEd customers are able to access energy efficiency and other assistance programs as energy demands evolve.
"The energy space is experiencing a pivotal moment, unlocking a growing number of well-paying trades roles for our communities," said Chris Riser, President, Business Manager, and Financial Secretary for IBEW Local 15. "IBEW is proud to work with ComEd in connecting area youth to the growing jobs in the unionized electrical industry. Career Day builds on our partnership to develop the diverse and highly qualified talent needed to power the communities we serve toward future economic prosperity."
The annual Career Day is just the latest example of how ComEd is expanding STEM education training programs to reach more area residents with an interest in the energy field. Earlier this year, ComEd launched the new CONSTRUCT Infrastructure Youth Academy to expand entry to the trades, launched new programs to train talent for EV related roles and to become future engineers, and awarded hundreds of thousands in college scholarships, helping more minority and female students pursue careers in STEM related fields.
For more information on career and education program opportunities by ComEd, please visit www.comed.com/cleanenergyjobs.
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ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 250 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.