U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth and executives from Northrop Grumman recently visited Harper College in Palatine to highlight the need to train students for rewarding careers in advanced manufacturing. Harper’s Advanced Manufacturing program partners with 70 area manufacturers to help develop the curriculum and to provide internships and apprenticeships. Harper College President Dr. Ken Ender said, “our partnership with area manufacturers has been a tremendous success, not only helping us develop the program’s curriculum, but also in giving students real work experience on the manufacturing floor.” Harper’s programs are designed to help fill the skills gap in the manufacturing industry. Representative Tammy Duckworth said, “Manufacturers in the 8th District often tell me that they are prepared to create new American jobs today, but cannot find enough Americans with the necessary skills. I’m proud that Harper College is leading the way in demonstrating how community colleges can play a vital role in uniting students, industry and government to fill this skills gap and strengthen our economy.”

Harper offers programs in precision machining, mechatronics/automation, metal fabrication, welding, and supply chain management. 2,100 students have enrolled in similar programs at community colleges across the state since the Department of Labor awarded its grant for INAM (Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing) to create programs based on nationally recognized criteria.

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