Sterling Engineering and many of their clients attended the Valley Industrial Association’s 2013 Spring Luncheon at the Wyndham Lisle Hotel, on Tuesday, March 19th. The event sold out with more than 240 people in attendance. The keynote speaker, Jennifer M. McNelly, President of The Manufacturing Institute, made a call to action to manufacturers to participate and support in recruiting and training future manufacturing employees.
Per Jennifer, with the often discussed skills gap, manufacturers often have positions open for as much as 15 months. “82 percent of companies can’t find qualified workers and 600,000 jobs go unfulfilled.” She stressed that more manufacturers should join the 250 companies who opened their doors last year and invited the community to tour their plants on Manufacturing Day. This year’s Manufacturing Day is on October 4th. Parents, teachers, and students will then have an opportunity to see what manufacturing of today really looks like. These jobs are not only exciting, but pays well.
“We should no longer beat ourselves up over what was perceived as low wages. Studies show that graduates of two-year community colleges trained for manufacturing positions make more money on average than graduates of four-year colleges,” McNelly said. College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Harper College in Palatine, and Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove and Aurora, are just a few community colleges mentioned that are participating in initiatives to reduce the manufacturing skills gap.
Sterling Engineering has been an active supporter in educating our community’s young students about the career opportunities in manufacturing and engineering. By engaging conversations with local colleges, participating in mock job fairs for high schools students, sponsoring the FIRST LEGO League, and supporting local manufacturing associations, Sterling Engineering has had the opportunity to utilize their Industry knowledge and experience to take an active role in closing the skills gap.
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