Cicero youths spend the day with BNSF to learn about a great career track
Wanting to educate youths in the Chicago area about how to “get on track” with a possible career in railroading, BNSF’s Cicero, Illinois, intermodal yard recently hosted a career day and yard tour with the Boys Club of Cicero.
Located just a few blocks from our yard, the Boys Club of Cicero has been serving the community since 1950. The club offers safe activities for its members with the primary goal of keeping kids focused on graduating from high school and then going on to college.
This was the second time BNSF and the Boys Club of Cicero got together. During the holidays, local employees went on a shopping spree with 20 boys. Both organizations hope to have more events going forward.
"I'm extremely excited about our partnership with BNSF,” Edgar Montiel, executive director, Boys Club of Cicero, said. “It opens up so many opportunities for our high school youth and exposes them to the endless opportunities that BNSF has to offer."
During the BNSF career day and tour, the boys met BNSF employees and learned about a broad range of career opportunities: rail operations, traffic control, public safety, human resources and government relations.
"This was a valuable opportunity for young people in the neighborhood to consider a career in the railroad industry,” Patricia Figueroa, locomotive engineer and chairman of BNSF’s Chicago Diversity Council, said. “By bringing them to the railyard they saw firsthand the work we do, from operating the railyard to traffic control to driving a forklift, all while learning about the plethora of opportunities in the industry they may not have known existed right in their backyard.”
Illinois State Senator Javier L. Cervantes joined the group for the yard tour. Together they observed how BNSF coordinates the safe, efficient and sustainable delivery of agricultural commodities, coal, consumer goods and industrial products through Cicero and beyond. They also heard about the company’s history in the area, where BNSF has had a presence for more than 100 years.
Javier Lopez is a member of the Boys Club and a senior at Morton East High School who got to go on the tour. “It's amazing how huge the railroad is in our community,” he said. “I would have never thought how large it is if it weren’t for them taking the time to show us around. There are so many pieces to their company that make it run so smoothly, they make it look easy.”
Cervantes offered a thank you to BNSF for hosting his team and the Boys Club. “BNSF and its employees who partake in the complex yet key railway system led us on a railyard tour illustrating the pivotal role it plays in transporting goods for the Cicero community and the State of Illinois.”
Peter Skosey, executive director, Public Affairs for BNSF in Illinois, helped organize the tour. “We look forward to the continued partnership with the Boys Club of Cicero andwill support the mission of the Club: ‘To enable all young peopleto reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible residents,’” he said. “At BNSF, we are proud to transport critical freight for the nation and to connect with people and communities along the way.”
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