Villivalam: IDOT looking to hire snowplow drivers in preparation for winter

Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 09:13 AM

snowplow 091520CHICAGO – 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

Villivalam: Completing the census crucial for Illinois’ fastest growing demographic

Published: Tuesday, September 08, 2020 03:10 PM

asianamerican 090820CHICAGO – 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.” 

Villivalam to hold virtual hearing on transparency in project selection at IDOT and equity in transportation and infrastructure projects

Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 05:06 PM

infrastructure 082720CHICAGO– State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, is holding a hearing focused on transparency in project selection at the Illinois Department of Transportation and equity in transportation and infrastructure projects. 

“We need to have an open and honest dialogue on transparency and equity as it relates to the process in which projects are prioritized and selected to receive funding,” Villivalam said. “Additionally, I think it’s important to have a project selection process that is transparent and facilitates productive communication between IDOT and those they contract with. Prioritizing transparency and equity would ensure public trust in the state’s transportation and infrastructure efforts as well as shed light on questions such as why a project that has been set to receive funding but has not yet been completed is taking so long to complete or what it will take to complete it.”

This is the second committee hearing of the General Assembly to be held virtually.

What:    Subject matter hearing and testimony regarding transparency and diversity as it relates to project selection and contracting with the Illinois Department of Transportation

               When: 10 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 

               Where: Conducted remotely via Zoom and broadcast live on or on Blue Room Stream at which is a subscription-based service. 

               Who:         The Senate Transportation Committee will hear testimony from:

  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association 
  • American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois
  • Operating Engineers 150
  • Chicago Laborers’ District Council
  • Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago 
  • Transportation Equity Network 

Additional witnesses can submit written testimony online at

Villivalam helps secure local temporary COVID-19 testing site, urges residents to get tested

Published: Friday, August 07, 2020 01:45 PM

Jones cvd testing 041520CHICAGO – In response to the recent rise in positive COVID-19 cases, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is urging residents to take advantage of a new temporary testing site set up at the Bernard Horwich JCC.  

“Due to the increasing positivity rate in Chicago, we need to continue our strong testing and contact tracing operations to stay ahead of the virus and prevent a big outbreak,” Villivalam said. “Not only is this temporary testing site a way to make it easier than ever to get a fast, easy and free test, but it’s also key to being able to safely reopen our state and economy. Testing and contact tracing are vital to being able to put people back to work without compromising their health or that of their coworkers.” 

The temporary testing site is located at 3003 W. Touhy Avenue in Chicago. Testing will be available Monday, Aug. 10 through Sunday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Simple nasal swabs will be used, and both drive-thru and walk-up testing are available. Anyone can get tested regardless of whether they exhibit symptoms. The tests are free, and the results will be available within four to seven business days. Residents should bring their insurance card but can still get a test without insurance. 

“Part of why this virus is so dangerous is the asymptomatic cases that spread silently through communities,” Villivalam said. “Most asymptomatic cases won’t know they have the virus unless they get tested. This site will allow anyone who may be worried about upcoming travel, visiting family, going to work or caring for children to get a test to make sure they don’t have COVID-19 and hopefully bring them a little peace of mind.” 

Sen. Ram Villivalam

Sen. Ram Villivalam

8th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II; Education; Human Services; Labor; Transportation (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (TR); Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On (Chairperson); Pension Investments Special Com. On.

Associated Representatives:
John C. D'Amico
Yehiel M. Kalish