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Letter: Careers in manufacturing a viable option

Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 11:08 a.m. CDT

Careers in manufacturing a viable option

To the Editor:

When I first began running for office I was often asked how we could create jobs for those looking for work in our communities. Creating jobs and cultivating a more robust economy in Illinois has been a key focus for me. I am always willing to discuss ways to get Illinois back on track and back to work.

During my first term as State Representative I have had the opportunity to tour many of the manufacturing facilities that are located in District 46, including: Earth Friendly Products, they make environmentally friendly cleaning products; Blackhawk Molding, they manufacture the familiar, plastic caps that seal milk jugs; and AIM Inc., they make machines that are used to manufacture wire products.

While touring these facilities, employers often explain to me that they have jobs that they are trying to fill but just don’t have properly trained candidates to hire.

The manufacturing jobs are out there, but many folks just aren’t aware of them or aren’t aware of the requisite training programs to get a career started in the field. Raising awareness for these jobs and their respective training programs is just one way that we can help get those in our community back to work.

A career in manufacturing should be treated as if it is one of the trades; education and training are essential.

The College of DuPage offers programs in Manufacturing Technology that give adults the requisite skills to begin a lucrative career in manufacturing.

There are also opportunities for young people to jump-start a career in manufacturing. The Technology Center of DuPage partners with multiple DuPage High Schools to offer the Computer Integrated Manufacturing program. This program offers students a way to acquire practical experience that can be applied to various roles in the manufacturing field.

With higher education costs becoming increasingly burdensome every year, training young people or individuals looking to make a career transition into the manufacturing field is an alternative path to a profession in high demand that offers competitive wages and good benefits.

Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, 46th District which also represents parts of Lombard

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