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Chicago aviation bridges past successes to future opportunities with Job Fair

Chicago’s aviation landscape is poised for a dynamic convergence of opportunity and innovation as the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) orchestrates a seamless transition from past achievements to future endeavors. With the anticipation building for its third annual Airport Expo and Job Fair on Thursday, May 16 at the UIC Forum, the CDA is gearing up to connect hundreds of eager Chicagoans with promising career opportunities within the aviation sector.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, recognizing the vital role of this event, emphasized, “The Airport Expo and Job Fair serves as a vital platform for connecting Chicagoans with diverse career and business opportunities at our airports, serving as a key step towards economic empowerment and community development.”

The expo promises to be a comprehensive showcase of employment and procurement opportunities available both within the department and at Midway and O’Hare International Airports. Attendees will have the chance to engage directly with industry leaders and potential employers, gaining insights into various aspects of the aviation industry through breakout sessions covering trades, procurement processes, and updates on significant projects like the O’Hare 21 capital improvement endeavor.

Aviation Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee reiterated the CDA’s commitment to fostering connections between residents and local entrepreneurs with burgeoning opportunities in the aviation sector. “Chicago’s airports are two of the biggest economic engines in the region, and the people of Chicago must be able to benefit from it. The CDA isn’t just in the business of creating jobs, we’re in the business of building generational wealth,” Rhee affirmed.

Reflecting on the success of previous editions, where over 700 Chicagoans explored diverse career paths within aviation, the upcoming event holds promise for attendees seeking fulfilling career trajectories.

halfmoon 3

But the momentum doesn’t stop there. In a testament to the airport’s continued growth and commitment to enhancing the passenger experience, the CDA recently celebrated the grand openings of three new concessions establishments in O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 3.

Half Moon Empanadas, ChiBoys, and Hudson Nonstop have officially joined the airport’s vibrant array of dining and retail options, enriching the passenger experience ahead of the bustling summer travel season.

“These new concessions are more than just an opportunity to provide world-class dining and retail experiences for travelers in Terminal 3,” Mayor Brandon Johnson remarked. “Airport concessions create investments in Chicago communities by providing opportunities for diverse local businesses to be a part of our economic engines and showcase our vibrant cultures and entrepreneurial spirit.”

The expansion of Terminal 3’s culinary and retail offerings not only enhances the passenger experience but also supports diverse Chicago businesses. From Half Moon Empanadas’ authentic Latin American cuisine to ChiBoys’ celebration of Chicago’s history, architecture, and culture through quality apparel and products, these new additions reflect the city’s rich cultural tapestry and entrepreneurial spirit.

ChiBoys creates innovative designs and experiences that celebrate the beauty and diversity of Chicago’s history, architecture, and culture through quality apparel and products. The brand’s products are inspired by owner DeShawn Murry’s knowledge, pride, and love of Chicago.

“To say ‘opening a store at O’Hare is an honor’ would be an understatement,” said Murry. “From the fruition of ChiBoys, I dreamt of it being on a platform for the world to see, and with this opportunity travelers from all over the world finally get to see why Chicagoans are so prideful. Our history, architecture, culture and culinary scene are second to none. Our diverse neighborhoods are what makes us a world class city. We’re looking forward to being a new and exciting addition to ORD.”

Hudson Nonstop, offers travelers a fast and convenient way to shop for must-have essentials, food and beverage, and local souvenirs. Hudson Nonstop is powered by Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology, which allows passengers to enter the store by inserting their credit card or tapping their mobile wallet at the entry gate, select their items, and walk out without any checkout lines.

Brian Quinn, Chief Operating Officer – Retail, North America, for Avolta, expressed pride in the role of these concessions in the continued evolution of Chicago O’Hare International Airport. “We are proud to be a part of the continued evolution of Chicago O’Hare International Airport and to make travelers happier along their journey by providing innovative retail experiences like Hudson Nonstop,” Quinn stated.

As Chicago’s aviation sector continues to soar, initiatives like the Airport Expo and Job Fair and the expansion of airport concessions serve as crucial catalysts, driving economic growth, fostering community engagement, and enriching the passenger experience.

The Airport Expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road. To learn more or register either as a job seeker or vendor, interested individuals can visit

These developments underscore the Chicago Department of Aviation’s commitment to not only connecting Chicagoans with career opportunities but also to providing an unparalleled travel experience that reflects the city’s vibrant culture and spirit of innovation.

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