Gov. Bruce Rauner highlighted exciting new advanced manufacturing career opportunities with a group of over 150 students from five Chicago high schools today at a National Manufacturing Month event. The event took place at the Wilbur Wright College Humboldt Park Campus, which houses the school’s vocational center.
“Manufacturing jobs have a reputation for being dirty and dangerous, but the industry continues to evolve and innovate every day, which requires a highly skilled workforce to fill these good-paying jobs,” Rauner said. “Investing in our young people and giving them the resources they need to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing is one of our top priorities. We must continue our work to make Illinois a more businesses friendly environment to create more high-quality and high-paying jobs for these bright students who will take over this critical industry.”
Wilbur Wright College Humboldt Park Campus hosted the event in partnership with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development and the Greater Northwest Chicago Development Corp. The community college is part of the City Colleges of Chicago.
Students from Ombudsman High School, Austin College & Career Academy, Schurz High School, Prosser Career Academy and Roberto Clemente Community Academy received a facility tour of the college’s Vocational Center, where they were informed of the school’s nine-month Advanced Manufacturing Program in computerized numerical control (CNC). They then had the opportunity to tour Winzeler Gear, WaterSaver Faucet Co., SG360°, a subsidiary of the Segerdahl Corp., Laystrom Manufacturing Co. or Freedman Seating Co. Each company provided a presentation of career pathways.
The Advanced Manufacturing Program is nationally recognized and endorsed by the Manufacturing Institute. It is accredited by The National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS). In 2012, the computer numerical control (CNC) machining program placed 100 percent of its graduates into jobs paying $40,000 a year, with the potential to jump to $55,000 to $65,000 in less than two years. In 2024, it is estimated more than 22,000 job positions will be available because of Illinois’ retiring workforce.
According to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, manufacturing comprises 13 percent of Illinois’ economy. More than 12,000 manufacturing firms call Illinois home, providing jobs for nearly 600,000 Illinoisans.
National Manufacturing Month continues throughout the month of October.