Central Illinois manufacturers must be ready for the renaissance of manufacturing in the United States and for growth right here at home!
Many companies have voiced concern that they are unable to identify the number and quality of applicants they desire. These workforce shortages can prohibit future business and economic growth. History has proven that governmental agencies and educational systems cannot solve workforce shortages by themselves. Therefore, you cannot afford to wait for a publicly sponsored solution. Join us in this effort to develop our Central Illinois talent pool.
The Strategic Manufacturing Group, a group of local manufacturing companies, educational, and support organizations, have worked together over the last five years to organize this outstanding event. The Expo, or “DMCE,” is a daylong field trip designed to expose students to potential job pathways and the skills needed to successfully enter the world of manufacturing in Central Illinois.
The tradition continued in late October of 2014 with the 6th annual Discover Manufacturing Career Expo. This year, the two day event hosted roughly 500 high school student attendees from a combined 30+ area schools each day.
Students began the day with a tour of a manufacturing facility. Caterpillar (East Peoria), Excel Foundry & Machine (Pekin), Parsons Company (Roanoke) or Premier Fabrication (Congerville) provided facility tours.
Next, students gathered at Woodruff Career and Technical Center for lunch, an in-depth and hands-on career expo. More than 20 local manufacturing companies, organizations and higher educational institutions exhibited at the Expo and dozens more sponsored the event. The show floor was full of:
Ball throwing robots and much more with which students could interact.
Plus, students were able to hear directly from young adults who have already made the choice to begin a career in manufacturing.
Students received a special presentation on “Soft Skills” following the expo. Two of Central Illinois’ most prominent speakers and student motivators: Heather Robertson, founder of Flight School, and Carl Cannon, Program Supervisor with ELITE Youth Outreach provided the presentation.
Over the years, manufacturing has developed an unfortunate negative image as a dirty, dead-end, repetitive and mundane career. This Expo soundly challenges that perception by educating Central Illinois’ students and educators about the reality of today’s industrial environment and expansive career pathways. Every year more students take the message to heart and are prompted to explore the opportunities offered by the industrial sector.
Thank you to all of our Exhibiting Manufacturers and Educational Institutions, as well as all of the local organizations that sponsored the Expo!