Snow Plow TruckCHICAGO – Now that the Illinois Department of Transportation has begun accepting applications, Senate Transportation Chair Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is encouraging qualified individuals to apply for seasonal snow-and ice removal positions. 

“Snowplow driving is an essential service that keeps our roads clear and our drivers safe,” Villivalam said. “This is a good employment opportunity for people who have struggled to find work.” 

Temporary snowplow drivers are hired every year on a full-time and on-call basis through IDOT’s “snowbird” program. To be considered, applicants must have a commercial driver’s license. Any potential employee must undergo a physical, vision test, and drug and alcohol screening. 

Applicants are selected based on their availability, job-related experience, and qualifications. Veterans are also strongly encouraged to apply. 

“With so many people currently unemployed, I hope they will take advantage of this opportunity to apply for a stable job heading into the winter,” Villivalam said. 

More information about the application process in specific districts, available positions, potential benefits, and salary can be found on IDOT’s website

Category: Press Releases

2020 CensusCHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is strongly encouraging all Asian Americans to fill out the census before the deadline closes.

“We need to ensure Asian Americans have access to all of the same state services as other Illinois residents,” said Villivalam, the first Asian American elected to the Illinois Senate and the Co-Chair of the Illinois General Assembly’s Asian American Caucus. “I represent one of the most culturally diverse districts in the state. I am extremely grateful for the numerous contributions our Asian American neighbors, friends and family have brought to our community – everything from cultural to the culinary traditions.” 

According to the Census Bureau, Asian Americans from countries like India and China are the fastest growing demographic group in Illinois with a population that has increased by 24% since 2010. Asian Americans now account for 5.7% of the people in the state. 

The fact that Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in Illinois is a reminder of how important it is to fill out the census.

“If the Asian American community wants to have the representation it deserves in government and its fair share of federal resources, we all need to fill out the census,” Villivalam said. 

The census can be completed by phone at 844-330-2020, mail, or online at www.2020census.gov

Category: Press Releases

Census 2020CHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is encouraging all residents who self-identify as Jewish to complete the census.

“We must ensure Jewish communities have access to all of the same state services that are enjoyed by others. One way to achieve that is by filling out the census,” Villivalam said. “I represent one of the most culturally diverse districts in the state. I am extremely grateful for the numerous contributions our Jewish neighbors, friends and family have brought to our community – everything from cultural to the culinary traditions.”

Illinois’ population numbers have grown substantially since the last census in 2010, and everyone in Illinois deserves to be counted. Villivalam believes it is vitally important that everyone living and contributing to the state and local communities be counted. For every 1% undercounted, the state of Illinois loses close to $2 billion over the next 10 years in federal funding. 

“I highly encourage anyone who hasn't completed the census to fill it out as soon as possible. It’s quicker and easier than ever this year,” Villivalam said. “If you have friends and family who would like to be counted, please help them do so as well.”

The census can be completed by phone at 844-330-2020, mail, or online at www.2020census.gov

Category: Press Releases

Originally published in WGEM, August 27, 2020.

Springfield, IL - The Illinois Department of Transportation is facing questions over complaints of systemic racism. Current and former employees are calling for workplace equity and protocols to end racism in hiring and selection of contractors for statewide projects, especially in Southern Illinois.

Members of the Senate Transportation Committee asked IDOT officials how they plan to address the recent allegations. Transportation Secretary Omer Osman says racism, sexual harassment, and discrimination are not acceptable at the agency. Osman emphasized he is taking the discrimination complaint seriously.

"Any employee who has been a victim of discrimination can file an internal complaint with IDOT EEO or civil rights. Or, they may file externally if they don't want to go that route," Osman explained.

The Department's legal counsel says employees go through regular training to try and prevent discrimination similar to protocols with other state agencies. Osman said IDOT will enhance efforts to stop discrimination following recent attacks on minorities across the country.

Read more ...

Category: In The News

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