The Skilled to Build grant program is an opportunity for community colleges to assist in creating solutions that impact the Illinois manufacturing workforce.
Illinois – September 21, 2022: With missions to drive productivity and competitiveness for Illinois manufacturer, the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation announced the Skilled to Build grant program. IMEC and IMA designed this grant program to engage community college faculty to advance the understanding and the application of innovative workforce solutions for Illinois small and mid-sized manufacturers (defined as 500 employees or less). Funding is available for up to $50,000 per project.
Building a skilled workforce and preparing the next generation of manufacturers remain a high priority, as demonstrated in a statewide study conducted last year. Community colleges are a vital part of solving these challenges and working with their local manufacturers will identify the skills needed to advance the manufacturing workforce demands in their backyard. This grant was developed to tap into that knowledge and innovation on a planning and implementation level to start building the strategies that are needed to develop the next generation of makers.
“Manufacturing leaders are actively looking for solutions to workforce challenges and IMEC is dedicated to bring together the resources and programs they need to globally compete. The Skilled to Build grant will bring the innovation and collaboration needed to ignite manufacturing excellence in communities across the state.” – David Boulay, Ph.D. President – IMEC.
“Illinois manufacturers employ more than 650,000 women and men on factory floors today but there are over 800,000 job openings in manufacturing nation-wide. Manufacturing jobs are high-tech, clean, diverse, sustainable and require skills to match the ever-advancing technology of the equipment used to produce life-saving medicines, build our infrastructure, and feed the world. The Skilled to Build grant is an opportunity to continue to position community colleges to teach the skills required for the next generation of manufacturing employees. The IMA Education Foundation is proud to partner with IMEC on this grant that will solve for manufacturers’ top request: more skilled workers.” – Sarah Hartwick, Vice President of Education & Workforce Policy & Executive Director of the IMA Education Foundation
Funding is available to faculty members at any community college in the state of Illinois, no matter their discipline.
If you are a faculty member of a community college located in Illinois, to learn more about the program and to apply, visit www.imec.org/futuregrant.
IMEC is a team of improvement specialists who are dedicated to changing lives and creating a positive impact on Illinois’ workforce and economy. With a mission to drive growth through enterprise excellence, they help organizations become more effective and efficient by identifying issues, developing and implementing solutions, and providing the necessary support that will allow them to excel in areas of leadership, strategy, customer engagement, operations, workforce, and measurement and results. In 2021, they assisted over 1,600 companies and help create or retain over 5,679 jobs, resulting in over $450M aggregate impact to the Illinois economy. IMEC has seven offices statewide and 48 full-time industry improvement specialists. For more information, visit www.imec.org.
IMEC is one of the 51 MEP Centers in the US and Puerto Rico. MEP Centers are part of the MEP National Network, which includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) and over 1000 manufacturing experts at over 400 service locations, with the tools and resources to help US manufacturers succeed and advance US Manufacturing. Being that each Center is a public-private partnership, they are able to connect manufacturers with government agencies, universities and research facilities, trade associations and many more resources that foster growth and innovation. In 2021, The MEP National Network helped manufacturers created and retain over 125,000 jobs. Find your local MEP Center here.
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities. For more information, visit https://ima-net.org/.
About the IMA Education Foundation:
Over the past decade, the IMA has provided more than $250,000 to help pay tuition and fees for students learning manufacturing skills. We need your help to continue this work. Your tax deductible contribution of $500, $5,000 or more will help us attract even more students to the great careers that await them.
Kristy Johns, VP of Marketing
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