Southwestern Illinois area business leaders and educators are trying to encourage high school students to consider careers in manufacturing. The area is anticipating a skills gap of 1,500-3,000 open manufacturing jobs over the next five years due to a retiring workforce and manufacturing growth. Madison County Regional Superintendent Bob Daiber said, “we are looking at high school diplomas as being the first step. They need to be leaving high school with some skills and technical knowledge.”

Southwestern Illinois College is part of the leadership group and will be offering an open house for its manufacturing program on Oct 2 at its Granite City campus, and a Metro Career Expo at the Belleville fairgrounds Nov 2-5.

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