Food manufacturers account for a large portion of products manufactured in Illinois every year, so it’s imperative that companies within this industry utilize the right people with the right skill set for manufacturing improvements. From operational and workforce inefficiencies to quality control and product compliance, these food manufacturers require a diverse set of capabilities. Right here at IMEC we employ several technical specialists that have spent a portion of their career working in the food industry. Meet Ken Wunderlich and Alex Nunez…
Archives for the ‘Workforce Development’ Category
Last week, the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance announced it will award its first industry-workforce partnership grant to the newly-aligned Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and ManufacturingWorks.
The Funder Alliance has chosen to award its first industry-workforce partnership grant to the IMEC-ManufacturingWorks partnership due to the partnership’s focus on building a platform that will drive additional value to both manufacturers and underprepared workers across the city and the region. The grant provides $300,000 – $400,000 annually for two to three years, beginning this fall. The Funder Alliance is a collaborative of 11 workforce development funders working with employers and other workforce stakeholders to increase employment and earnings for underprepared workers in the Chicago region.
Manufacturing Skills Training available through Lake Land College Industrial Programs
IMEC and the staff at the LLC Center for Business & Industry are reaching out to companies in the LLC district for manufacturing/industrial-related offerings to train current or future workers on essential skills for the workplace… Check out the program descriptions below and contact IMEC’s Jenny McKinney for additional information!
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!
Companies in Illinois and across the country are continuing to face a shortage of workers that are properly educated and trained for the variety of manufacturing employment opportunities. Most manufacturers report a lack of skilled labor as critical challenge today.
Manufacturers use on-the-job training programs to re-focus their workforce on the desired manufacturing talents needed. A recent article in USA Today titled, “Training Cutbacks Thwart Jobless” discussed the fact that companies are cutting outside training programs for lack of funds, ultimately making the skills gap even worse. However, it is important to note that affordable training programs are still available.
Manufacturing leaders from the greater Chicago area, in addition to Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, IMEC President David Boulay, and representatives from the City of Chicago and state commerce department gathered for a duo of manufacturing-focused events last week.
The group first met at PortionPac Corporation in Chicago for discussion and a tour of the sustainable company that manufactures pre-measured packs of highly concentrated cleaning products for use in a variety of industries, including school districts and correctional facilities. “The last decade for manufacturing has been about diversification and the ability to develop a focus in niche markets in order to continue growing,” said Burt Klein, President for PortionPac. During the visit, Klein also spoke to the city’s investment in the manufacturing sector and how building a strong workforce, transportation can lead to a strengthened climate.
Through a city initiative, Chicago Sustainable Industries, there has been an increased awareness about manufacturing and its importance to the strength of the community. “Manufacturing jobs play an anchoring role in a community,” Director Gallagher stated. “It’s great to see the combined efforts of the public and private sectors working together to strengthen that role.”
Following the facility tour and discussion, the group met at the Transco Products downtown headquarters, where they engaged in discussion around the direction of future trends in technology, workforce and the need to campaign for a brighter image of the industry. “If manufacturing has a bad image, it affects the desire of youth and adults alike to educate themselves and pursue a career in industry,” said Gallagher. Talk continued around the need to promote manufacturing nationally, regionally and locally, including initiatives manufacturers can take to reach out in their communities.