Illinois to Spend $15 Million on the Training of the Workers in the Manufacturing Sector
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced last Wednesday that Illinois would spend $15 million on two manufacturing training academies that will impart advanced manufacturing skills to hundreds of workers and address the shortage of workers in manufacturing industries.
Hundreds of students will be enrolled in the first year of the program. Although each program will have a different focus, the end goal will be the same – to meet the demand for state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing training downstate.
Thanks to the grant from Illinois, businesses will have more opportunities to grow, retain and attract new talent for bettering their manufacturing processes.
The academies will be located at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in Metro East and Heartland Community College (HCC) in Normal.
As per a SWIC student, whether it’s using their field trailer or high precision five-axis machining centres, SWIC students have always done exceedingly well in the field of machining. The grant from Illinois will help polish the skills of the bright and talented students and fill the needs of the manufacturing industry for high-demand jobs, such as – machinery mechanics and computer numerically controlled machine operators and programmers.
The $15 million will come from Illinois’ capital plan, and $4.95 million funding will come from regional partners and employers, such as DECO and Rivian.
Rivian is investing 1.5 million USD, and Illinois is granting $7.5 million to create the Electric Vehicle-Energy Storage Manufacturing Training Academy at Heartland Community College. With this new training academy, Heartland Community College will be a resource for those looking to upgrade their skills and a hub for innovation. The new training academy is expected to create an additional 1,600 jobs in the next two years alone, and the jobs in the area are expected to double by 2024.
At SWIC, a second $7.5 million grant from the state will be used to expand the school’s successful manufacturing training facilities. SWIC’s advanced training facilities will have computers and other specialized equipment to impart training to the students. The focus of the training will be a diverse recruitment program to ensure the enrollment of more minority and women students.
The unemployment rate and economic distress in the area have been quite high. The new training facilities will prepare students for several well-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs that will lead them to steady employment.
Manufacturing is an important and growing industry for the state. The right investments will ensure more job opportunities for Illinoisans and help address the skills shortage in the manufacturing sector.