ComEd hiring 500 to power up workforce to help meet increased demand as more electric vehicles hit the roads
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Electricity. It powers the device you’re using to read this story right now, but will the juice be in low supply as more and more electric vehicles charge up?

Electricity provider Com-Ed hopes not. Morning Insider Lauren Victory has the scoop on a just-released announcement by the company to prevent future outages.  

On any job site, safety is always first. ComEd crews stay mindful of their surroundings, but these days are also mindful of the meaning behind their assignments. They’re suiting up for the future.

“It’s amazing, because you can’t do anything without electricity,” said Savoya Taylor, an overhead electrician specialist.

There’s no question our electrical grid is going to feel the heat as more and more electric vehicles use power to hit the road.

CBS2 cameras were there as Taylor and her teammates swapped out a transformer at Hamlin Avenue and Irving Park Road. Installing a new transformer is just one example of upgrades needed to handle an anticipated increase in demand.

To keep up, ComEd announced Tuesday that it’ll add 500 people to its force over the next three years. The company will put a priority on hiring females.

“A lot of women think that this is impossible, but when they see me out here, they’re cheering. They’re like ‘Oh yeah, so I wanna do that,'” said Taylor, who was the first female in her electrical troubleshooting role.

To get your foot in the door, no experience is necessary. ComEd will train you how to climb utility poles, with an opportunity to climb the ranks too.

You’ll make up to $30 an hour starting off as an overhead helper like Leejohn Johnson.

“Maintain the truck stock, assist with materials for the lineman that was actually going to do the work,” said Johnson, explaining the overhead helper position. His promotion to lineman, making six figures, came after a 2.5-year paid apprenticeship.

“The 2.5 years sounds like a long time, but it goes by pretty quick,” said Johnson.

Also pretty quick: how fast crews need to make modernization fixes and move onto the next one.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office tells CBS 2 that 43,481 electric vehicles are currently registered in our state. Legislation passed in 2021 included rebates to help the state achieve its goal to get 1 million EVs on the road by 2030. 

ComEd will open up its entry level job postings on May 23 but act quickly – applications close June 9.  

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