Manufacturing Workforce Skill Needs Consortium Scheduled in Effingham

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Published on October 16 2013 8:34 pm
Last Updated on October 16 2013 8:34 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC), in partnership with a six community college consortium forming an East Central Illinois (eci) Super Region, will host a Roundtable: Addressing Manufacturing Workforce Skill Needs, on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 from noon to 4:30 p.m. at The Keller Convention Center, 1202 N Keller Drive, Effingham. Exhibitor booths will open at noon, followed by presentations at 1:00 p.m.

This afternoon event will bring together manufacturers and community, business, education and economic development leaders to address workforce skill needs and opportunities related to industrial trades’ careers and build effective partnerships for increasing related community awareness. Guest speakers will include experts from manufacturing and industrial trades, education, health care, government, and many more.

Lake Land College President Dr. Josh Bullock and Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center President Dr. David Boulay are two of the featured guest speakers. Additional speakers with a broad spectrum of workforce expertise will address timely topics, including: community awareness and outreach to youth and their parents for manufacturing career opportunities, value of internships, and tools for developing successful business-education-community partnerships. Small discussion groups will focus on ways to advance education-to-employment opportunities in the region and build local networks for increasing technology careers.

Gold level sponsors include: Decatur and Macon County Economic Development Corp., Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, Lake Land College, Richland Community College, and an electric cooperatives partnership including Shelby Electric, Prairie Power, Coles Moultrie Electric, Norris Electric, and Eastern Illini Electric Coop.

Local Workforce Investment Area 23 is a silver level sponsor. Exhibitors will include: AIDEX, Broadband Illinois, Business Solutions Center at Eastern Illinois University, LEGO Education, Richland Community College, and Tick Tock Energy, Inc.

Additional Partners supporting the eci Super Region include: Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, Consolidated Communications Fund for Economic Development and Community Leadership, Mattoon Area Community Foundation, Danville Community College, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Kaskaskia College, and Parkland College.      

Admission is free; however registration by October 24 is required. To register or for more information, please visit www.ecidc.com, or contact ECIDC Executive Director Jean Anne Grunloh at jgrunloh@lakeland.cc.il.us or (217) 540-3517.  A complete Roundtable Agenda is also available at www.ecidc.com.

The eci Super Region Coalition is comprised of leaders from a six community college consortium, K-12 education, economic and workforce development agencies, regional planning commissions, area manufacturers and many more industrial trades and advanced technology stakeholders. The six community college consortium includes: Danville Community College, Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Kaskaskia College, Lake Land College, Parkland College, and Richland Community College.

This Coalition is dedicated to developing a trained industrial workforce and better preparing both young people and those already in the workforce with the skill sets needed for today’s manufacturing jobs. This starts by identifying the skill sets needed in today’s manufacturing, bridging the gap between education and employment, listening to the needs of industry, and identifying ways to collaborate. Manufacturing and industry are changing rapidly. Having a common goal among institutions that can assemble quickly and assist in meeting industrial sector employment needs is vital to advancing manufacturing throughout the region.

ECIDC, a nonprofit regional economic development organization, is serving as neutral facilitator for the eci Super Region Coalition.