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Wabash Valley College is pleased to host Manufacturing Day and Open House on Wednesday, October 5, from 10 a.m. – 12 noon at their Advanced Manufacturing facility on West Third Street.  Students will be presenting their projects and skills during the event to which the public is invited.  Several Advanced Manufacturing students have been awarded scholarships to pursue their educational goals.


The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) Education Foundation awarded Illinois Eastern Community Colleges $25,000 in scholarship funds for meeting a series of set standards and performing at a high level of active engagement to foster greater educational opportunities within the field of manufacturing.  Illinois Eastern Community Colleges is one of three institutions across the State receiving a scholarship from the IMA Education Foundation this summer.


The Advanced Manufacturing Program at Wabash Valley College prepares graduates to assume roles as operators and technicians in manufacturing.  Aiming to address the skills gap and fill vacancies within the manufacturing sector, the programs at Illinois Eastern Community Colleges cover several vocational aspects of the industry, including industrial maintenance technology, welding and cutting, process technology, and advanced manufacturing.  The Manufacturing Programs are offered through Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Olney Central College in Olney, and Lincoln Trail College in Robinson.


“This grant from the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Education Foundation will be used to train students for the kind of high-tech manufacturing jobs we need to attract to Southeastern Illinois,” said Illinois Eastern Community Colleges’ CEO Terry Bruce.  “This scholarship award provides a great opportunity for both students and employers in our community and is much appreciated.”


“The skills and certification opportunities being provided through Illinois Eastern Community Colleges’ programs provide students a competitive advantage in an industry that has long been the backbone of our economy,” stated William Hickey, Chairman, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; President, Lapham-Hickey Steel.  “As a third-generation manufacturer, I cannot stress enough the importance for local employers to be engaged with our community colleges to ensure success for the next generation of skilled workers in our industry.”


“Among the objectives of the IMA Education Foundation is a provision for IMA to provide scholarship opportunities for deserving students following a pathway of study leading to a manufacturing career,” said Andrew Faville, Board Member, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association; CEO, Falex Corporation.  “This scholarship award will assist manufacturing students by alleviating some of their financial concerns while focusing on their education and training.”


“The students at the Illinois Eastern  Community Colleges have the potential to ensure our State will continue to build a  strong pipeline for the workforce and fill the skills gap that is facing our industry,” noted Greg Baise, President and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.  “We hope to continue broadening participation and working with these institutions to increase success across the board for students pursuing opportunities in the manufacturing sector.”


The IMA Education Foundation Board of Directors has endowed its second round of annual scholarships to three schools this summer for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The first round of endowments were made to six institutions last summer for the 2015-2016 school year.  The IMA Education Foundation scholarship investments in these programs will help students for years to come.