Throughout the month of October, we’re celebrating National Manufacturing Day in Illinois. With events beginning October 1 at an Evanston industrial park, to the more than 60 open houses and events on October 4, to visits with legislators and manufacturing firms sprinkled throughout, it is surely evident that the manufacturing spirit is alive and well in Illinois.
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Advantage Illinois is the Illinois Department of Commerce and Opportunity’s (DCEO) enhanced portfolio of lending and venture capital programs. These programs are designed to provide Illinois small businesses and entrepreneurs with access to to the capital needed to start new companies or expand existing businesses. The $78 million federally-funded program encourages businesses to bring innovative ideas and new products to the market as well as accelerate job creation and economic growth in Illinois. For more information on this program as well as where to apply please click here.
Yesterday, the Obama administration made funding available for the Make it in America Challenge, announced by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The Make it in America Challenge aims to encourage foreign and domestic businesses to build and/or expand their operations in the United States.
The Make it in America Challenge will provide $40 million in competitive grant funding through the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), and the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA). Below is more information about the Make It in America Challenge, including application and evaluation criteria, as well as additional resources.
Covidien one of IMEC’s medical manufacturing supply clients is hosting a career fair. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to enter manufacturing career paths or switch careers! Let’s show our support for jobs through this and other career fair opportunities in industry.
The on-site career fair will take place on February 28 from Noon – 8 pm at 815 Tek Drive in Crystal Lake, IL. Covidien is seeking enthusiastic individuals to fill positions in the areas of manufacturing, maintenance, engineering, and quality assurance. Covidien understands the importance of having a great team, which is why they believe in accountability, collaboration, compassion, and diversity among all its employees.
Mission: Military 2 Manufacturing, one of the largest efforts to help veterans gain a foothold in the manufacturing sector kicks off in Schaumburg on Tuesday, December 18th, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) announced today. “The manufacturing sector in Illinois is in dire need of thousands of trained workers, and military veterans are in a unique position to meet this demand,” said IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia. “Illinois manufacturers are specifically looking for veterans who can bring soft skills and technical experience to their workplaces.”
Lake Land College in Mattoon will open its doors to the public to showcase the nationally recognized Manufacturing Skills Lab for Manufacturing Day on October 5th. The innovative lab delivers hands-on technical training to maintenance and machine operators and has the ability to be customized to meet the needs of technicians from apprentice-level to the most experienced senior technician. Using components identical to those found in modern manufacturing equipment, system functions are recreated in a lab environment where participants learn practical setup, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting manufacturing skills.
NIST-MEP has released a new infographic that uses data visualization to tell the story of manufacturing perceptions vs. reality. It’s a powerful image of the economic and innovation success of “Manufacturing in America” that more people should be aware of.
“Manufacturing in America is central to our economic strength and a driver of innovation. Manufacturing jobs are some of the best in the country, yet the public doesn’t perceive them to be. And there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them. But together we can help tell the real story…”
This and other new infographics are being shared at a time when our nation is really beginning to focus on the importance of industry to our nation’s economy, and will hopefully boost the real perception that manufacturing is alive and thriving!
Make sure you check out the new “Manufacturing in America” infographic on www.nist.gov/mep/mfg-america.cfm!
WTTW Chicago reports on central Illinois manufacturer Excel Foundry’s methods to fill high skilled, high-tech jobs. The video also explores why other advanced-manufacturing companies are facing similar problems as parents and students shun manufacturing jobs over perceived stigmas and concerns about the long-term viability of the industry in America.
Watch Illinois Company Looks to Bridge Workers’ ‘Skills Gap’ on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
…Center helps manufacturers increase sales and boost productivity.
Despite lingering challenges from the economic recession and intense pressure to shave costs, manufacturers assisted by IMEC in 2012 reported significant increases in sales, productivity, and employment. Manufacturing clients surveyed by an independent third-party indicated that the assistance provided by IMEC was expected to help them achieve a total of $139 million in improvements, or an average of nearly $900,000 for each client project. Overall, IMEC services led to the creation or retention of about 1,398 high-wage manufacturing jobs.
“The manufacturing sector is leading the economic recovery in Illinois, and the companies we assisted last year showed remarkable resilience in making necessary changes in their operating and market strategies,” said David Boulay, IMEC President. “Progressive leaders are doing what it takes to be more innovative and responsive to their customer needs in order to compete and win.
Alliance for American Manufacturing Executive Director Scott Paul sat down with CNN’s Ali Velshi and commentator Will Cain to debate the future of U.S. manufacturing jobs.