This article discusses the skills gap in Illinois manufacturing. Numerous metal fabrication plants, for example, are located in Chicago’s western suburbs. Many of those manufacturers are unable to find the skilled workers needed to operate effectively and efficiently. Gardner Carrick, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Manufacturing Institute said, “over the bulk of the 2000s there was a lot of job loss in manufacturing … but that’s something that has changed in the last five or six years as we’ve seen a pretty strong resurgence in manufacturing hiring and manufacturing job growth in the US.” Many programs exist to help fill the gap through training, such as Career Connect West and Harper College’s advanced manufacturing program. (Harper recently received a $500,000 donation from the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association to be used towards a new training facility).

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