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City Colleges of Chicago and PepsiCo Partner to Offer Students a Pathway to Careers in Transportation, Distribution and Manufacturing

3/13/2018 12:00 AM

Innovative partnership will prepare students on a management track in high-demand fields

City Colleges of Chicago (City Colleges) and PepsiCo yesterday announced a partnership to support student success by providing up to 40 job offers annually in the high-demand fields of transportation, distribution and manufacturing. Students will take on roles in career paths that lead to management, including as merchandisers, warehouse personnel, commercial truck drivers or machine maintenance technicians and mechanics.     

PepsiCo, one of the largest food and beverage companies in the U.S. with a product portfolio that includes Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi-Cola, will address local workforce needs by connecting City Colleges’ students with training and employment opportunities.     

“The partnership with PepsiCo and City Colleges helps Chicago’s hard working students develop the skillsets needed to thrive and excel in the 21st century,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The future is bright for those entering the transportation, distribution, logistics and manufacturing fields, and City Colleges students will be prepared for the thousands of jobs coming to the region in the coming years.”    

PepsiCo and its sister brands are committed to bringing on up to 40 students total from Daley College and Olive-Harvey each year. New hires will start at more than $14 an hour, and increase depending on the position.   

PepsiCo also committed to investing in tuition reimbursement, transportation, and other school-related costs for City Colleges students.  Additionally, the industry leader will host regular hiring events that target City Colleges students and surrounding communities, as well as name Olive-Harvey as a preferred Forklift training site for existing and future PepsiCo employees.    

In addition to completing a degree or certificate at Olive-Harvey College or Daley College, students will participate in PepsiCo-specific training [and workplace readiness training] to help prepare them for the company screening process.  The New York-based company has for a long time had a major local presence, including manufacturing on 51st St. in Bridgeview; a large distribution center on 35th St.; and management offices in the West Loop and Schaumburg.     

“With business operations continuing to evolve, we need to ensure workers of tomorrow have the skill sets that will be required to stay ahead of new trends,” said Al Carey, CEO, PepsiCo North America. “Innovative public-private partnerships like the one we’ve created with City Colleges of Chicago enable us to provide opportunities to the community while we recruit, train, and develop talent to fill high-tech roles now and well into the future and give local students a career path to ensure their future success.”    

“The partnership is an example of how City Colleges works with leading employers to prepare our students for careers in high-demand fields,” said City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado.  “We appreciate PepsiCo recognizing the pipeline of talent City Colleges offers and its effort to work with us to ensure these students launch careers that offer a pathway to upward mobility.”    

“I applaud PepsiCo for their commitment to hiring from communities devastated by unemployment.  The best and most effective anti-violence program is a jobs program! The best way to decrease violence is to increase economic opportunity.  This is a great day for communities like Austin, and West Garfield Park,” stated Cook County Commissioner Richard R. Boykin (D-1).    

Both Olive-Harvey College and Daley College have a proven track record in working with employers to ensure the curriculum and facilities meet the demands of employers in high demand fields.    

“Daley students will be working as technicians and mechanics at PepsiCo’s warehouses—repairing and installing equipment and helping ensure manufacturing operations run smoothly—and that’s pretty exciting,” added Daley College Interim President Dr. Eduardo Garza.  “With a major organization like PepsiCo deciding to recruit our students and development of the new Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center, there are great things happening on campus.”    

“We are excited to formalize our partnership with PepsiCo, a long-standing supporter of our efforts,” noted Olive-Harvey Interim President Felicia Davis. “The students and community on the far South Side are seeking opportunities like this to start work immediately in roles that lead to family-sustaining careers.”    

Mayor Emanuel and City Colleges broke ground last year on a $45 million Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Center at Daley College, marking the start of construction of the 57,000-square foot project that will help prepare Chicagoans for the more than 20,000 jobs coming to the region in the engineering and advanced manufacturing fields over the next decade. A few months later, in December, Mayor Emanuel announced that construction would resume on the 103,000-square-foot Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Center at Olive-Harvey. The facility will prepare students for transportation-related jobs and include automotive and diesel engine laboratories, an engine dynamometer, classrooms, simulated driving areas, a testing center and vehicle bays. It also would be a central location to provide office supplies to City Colleges' campuses and other buildings.   

PepsiCo already hired 10 South Side community members, including former City Colleges students, during a hiring event at Olive-Harvey College this past November. 

For more information on City Colleges of Chicago and to apply, visit or call 773/C-O-L-L-E-G-E. For PepsiCo job opportunities, go to PepsiCo Careers.​​ 

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