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  • 2020
    10/26

    Correction: LGBTQ+ Informational Session Taking Place 10/29

    ​A previous email included an incorrect date for this week's PRIDE in Our Workforce: LGBTQ+ Employment & Engagement informational session.

    This event will be taking place on Thursday, October 29th from 1pm - 230pm.

    Learn more about this event and register here.

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  • 2020
    10/25

    Upcoming Informational Sessions

    Don't miss out on this coming week's informational sessions about manufacturing, apprenticeships and LGBTQ+ friendly businesses. Learn about and register for these upcoming events below.

     

    Joliet Junior College and Illinois workNet Celebrate Manufacturing Month

    When: 10/28 – 10am – 11am

    About: A webinar with conversation focused around the importance of manufacturing in Illinois, educational opportunities that lead to high-paying local careers, student/employee perspective on the education/career, and finally how manufacturing gives back to the community will take place Wednesday, October 28th at 10:00am with manufacturers LyondellBasell and CITGO Petroleum Corporation, along with education partner Joliet Junior College. Learn what modern manufacturing is really all about! Learn more about this event and register here.

     

    Manufacturing Apprenticeships in Illinois + ICATT Apprenticeship Program

    When: 10/29 – 11am – 12pm

    About: This webinar will highlight the ICATT Apprenticeship Program, a nationally awarded 3-year apprenticeship program combining on-the-job training with an associate's degree. ICATT operates across the state of Illinois and works closely with communities, community colleges, economic development organizations, and employers. You'll have the opportunity to learn about the program and hear success stories from existing ICATT partners, including community colleges, employers, and apprentices. The ICATT Apprenticeship Program is a workforce development strategy – a sustainable solution that builds a loyal workforce, provides a pipeline of talent, and ensures that standards of excellence are met. Learn more at https://www.icattapprenticeships.com/.

    Who should attend:

    • Current high school students or recent graduates (or really anyone 18+) interested in a career in manufacturing
      • Benefits for ICATT apprentices: real-world training, an associate's degree, and an awesome career with no student debt; earn a salary + guaranteed employment for 2 years upon successful completion of the training and associate's degree
    • Parents / guardians of high school students or recent graduates interested in a career in manufacturing
    • Employers interested in getting involved with the ICATT Apprenticeship Program (open to any Illinois employer!)
      • Benefits for companies: access to a sustainable pipeline of talent, increased employee retention, harness growth opportunities
    • Communities and community colleges in the state of Illinois interested in getting involved with the ICATT Apprenticeship Program as a workforce development strategy
    • Anyone with a general interest in learning about manufacturing apprenticeships and the ICATT Apprenticeship Program

    Join this webinar through Zoom or Facebook.


    PRIDE in Our Workforce: LGBTQ+ Employment & Engagement

    When: 10/29 – 1pm – 230pm

    About: Illinois workNet partnered with Illinois LGBT Chamber of Commerce (LGBTCC) and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to hold a multi-employer informational session highlighting LGBTQ+ friendly businesses throughout the state!

    This is an inclusive virtual event for job seekers to hear from three hiring employers about current job openings and experiences. Businesses are invited to learn about LGBTCC, services offered by the Chamber, and work being done for the LGBTQ+ community; DCEO will provide information about the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program. There will be time for Q&A! Learn more about this event and register here.

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  • 2020
    10/24

    Program Enrollment Closing Soon: Illinois FREE Online IT Training Through Coursera

    In June, the State of Illinois partnered with Coursera to offer courses that lead to Information Technology (IT) professional courses and certificates, such as the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

    The period for free course enrollments in select Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative content will end on October 31, 2020. Once enrolled, learners will still have until December 31, 2020 to complete their courses as part of the program.

    You will not be able to enroll for free, if you enroll on or after November 1, 2020.

    Access to Coursera to create a free account can be found by visiting Illinois workNet or Get Hired Illinois. Get Hired Illinois is a state web portal designed to connect workers with the available job and career training opportunities across the state of Illinois.

    Here are the steps to get you started on Illinois workNet:

    1. Sign in to Illinois workNet.com or Create an Illinois workNet account
    2. Visit the training page and click on the "Access Your Free Courses" button
    Coursera will then send you an email so you can get started on your courses

    Once you complete Coursera courses, and if you want to continue your education, you can access other IT courses through your local community college:

    Review your training options and learn more about Coursera's Training Opportunities.

    Follow Illinois workNet on Social Media:

    Sincerely,

    The Illinois WorkNet Team

  • 2020
    10/19

    Celebrating Manufacturing and Highlighting its Importance to the Local Economy Pt. 3

    Manufacturing is essential to every aspect of our world and serves as a catalyst by creating a ripple effect that impacts other important areas, including the local economy. Take a moment to think about the products that we use on a daily basis and it becomes even more evident how important manufacturing really is. From the vehicles we drive and fuel that goes in the tank to food and beverage products, the manufacturing industry and its workforce has an important role. 

    Below is the third and final part of an article about the manufacturing industry. This article highlights the importance and impact the manufacturing industry has to the workforce and our communities. 

    *** 

    Community Investment 

    Not to be overlooked are the significant contributions that manufacturers make to our local communities through outreach initiatives which include charitable organizations, scholarships, food drives, environment-friendly programs as well as events to increase interest in manufacturing. These contributions show the commitment that manufacturers have to not only be part of their community but also give back. 

    LyondellBasell Morris Complex 

    As we continue to navigate the pandemic there have been many positive outcomes - an outpouring of sincere kindness from several manufacturers who are eager to make their support known in communities. Among the manufacturing companies is LyondellBasell, which donated $50,000 to We Care of Grundy County. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted various facets of people’s lives and created hardships for many. Food banks all over the world are on the front lines of this international pandemic providing food assistance to millions facing hunger, with demand increasing every day. LyondellBasell’s donation aims to help relieve some of the strain with its donation.  

    “We Care of Grundy County is incredibly special to us,” Morris site manager Randy Tatum said. “Both our employees and retirees regularly volunteer their time to help stock the food pantry throughout the year. We take our role in this community seriously, and this is something we can do to help our neighbors during this difficult time."  

    Donating funds to supply food for those in need is just one example how LyondellBasell has responded during the pandemic. Additionally, LyondellBasell's materials are found in many applications critical to protecting and preserving health and safety such as medical devices, protective equipment, cleaning products, and various pharmaceutical applications. The company continues to supply its customers with a variety of materials including polypropylene resins, which are used to produce melt-blown fibers that provide filtration in facemasks; masterbatch products are used in breathable films for protective suits; and, polypropylene, ethylene oxide, and propylene oxide are used to make medical syringes, medical test kits, soaps, disinfectants, and many other products.  

    ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery 

    The ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery places a high priority on community partnership. Over the last 10 years, the company and its employees have contributed nearly $2 million to the United Way through their annual campaign, and have dedicated countless hours volunteering for local charitable causes. Employees’ sweat equity and personal commitment to those charities is further boosted by financial grants under the ExxonMobil Volunteer Involvement Program (VIP). 

    A strong commitment to education drives much of the ExxonMobil’s community outreach.  Each year, ExxonMobil employees share their expertise and experience with over 1,000 local students through their Secrets in Science program, Science Expo, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Mentor 2.0 Program, and Career Conferences. These programs pique students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), positioning those students for higher paying jobs, and support the long term objective of developing a workforce consistent with what our future economy will require. 

    ExxonMobil and its employees actively support higher education through its Educational Matching Grant Program, which matches employee donations with corporate contributions. In the last five years alone, $6.8 million has been donated to Illinois colleges and universities through the program and ExxonMobil has also recently collaborated with its contractor partners to establish the Manufacturing for the Future Fund at the Joliet Junior College.  

    Highlighting the more than 225 people ExxonMobil has hired in the last five years, Joliet Refinery Manager Monica Mainland expressed her appreciation for all that her colleagues do to operate the refinery with excellence, and to build strong partnerships with the community.  “We operate in a challenging and dynamic business environment.  As a company, we leverage our employees’ diverse backgrounds, experiences and thought to deliver creative solutions.” 

    Efforts like volunteerism, environment-friendly practices, and philanthropy continue to be the primary focus for manufacturing companies across the globe. At the end of the day, manufacturing is much more than making a product; it’s about the passion and purpose which provides a solid foundation for our local economy and continues to be the lifeblood of our communities. 

    ExxonMobile Joilet Refinery.jpg

    The ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery places a high priority on community partnership. Over the last 10 years, the company and its employees have contributed nearly $2 million to the United Way through their annual campaign, and have dedicated countless hours volunteering for local charitable causes. 

    JCC.jpg

    Calculating and configuring are all part of Loni Pierce’s day-to-day routine. Using computer-based information to analyze and repair equipment inside the plant, her days at Joliet Junior College studying Electrical Electronics Automated Systems have prepared her for her 30-year career with LyondellBasell. During the month of October, we celebrate Loni Pierce and other professionals in manufacturing who keep plants running safely and efficiently.

    ***

    Discover what manufacturing careers are available with the Illinois workNet Careers, Wages & Trends Search that allows you to use career and labor market information to:  

    • Plan for high school and beyond.​​​   
    • Complete job applications and prepare for interviews.​​​   
    • Find out about expected number of job openings and how much a job could pay.   
    • Make a job change, relocate, or request a pay raise.   

    Be sure to follow our event calendar for upcoming eventsVirtual Job Fairs (VJF), and social media pages to learn more about Manufacturing Month:   

  • 2020
    10/15

    Celebrating Manufacturing and Highlighting its Importance to the Local Economy Pt. 2

    Manufacturing is essential to every aspect of our world and serves as a catalyst by creating a ripple effect that impacts other important areas, including the local economy. Take a moment to think about the products that we use on a daily basis and it becomes even more evident how important manufacturing really is. From the vehicles, we drive and fuel that goes in the tank to food and beverage products, the manufacturing industry and its workforce have an important role. 

    Below is the second part of an article about the manufacturing industry. Next week, we will be posting the remaining installment of this article that highlights the importance and impact the manufacturing industry has to the workforce and our communities.

    *** 

    Industry & Education Partnerships 

    Recruiting, preparing, and growing the talent base is among the most critical challenges facing manufacturers. The best opportunity to train students for manufacturing careers is for businesses to partner with school districts and community/technical colleges. We see this happening throughout Illinois.   

    LyondellBasell’s Morris Complex is one of the initial companies that partnered with Joliet Junior College to establish the Operations Engineering and Technician (OET) Associate degree programs. This program prepares individuals with the education and training needed for an operator or maintenance position. 

    Since the inception of the OET program in 2015, JJC has enjoyed solid partnerships with industry leaders such as LyondellBasell, TC Energy, Aux Sable, CITGO Petroleum Corporation and Exelon Generation.  The OET program stats continue to shine. Ever since the program began, there has been a 100 percent completion and employment rate with graduates earning an average salary of $72,000.  

    Amy Murphy, dean, applied arts, workforce education & training said, “Our industry partners have been instrumental in shaping the OET program’s curriculum, ensuring that our students are real-world ready through internship experiences as well as providing employment opportunities after graduation.” 

    Preparation for a career in manufacturing should start much earlier in a student’s education. Joliet Junior College adapted the success of the OET program to establish a dual-enrollment/pre-apprenticeship program, Advanced Integrated Maintenance (AIM), where high school students can attend college part-time their senior year to begin their career path in advanced manufacturing.  Manufacturers have introduced hundreds of programs like these across the country. 

    Increasingly, advanced manufacturing companies are turning to apprenticeships to develop, grow and retain a skilled workforce. Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job learning with related instruction in technical areas to produce qualified, highly skilled employees for careers requiring precision skills. 

    Apprenticeship training ensures workers have the knowledge and competencies that companies need for today and tomorrow while helping to reduce the turnover rate. According to RecruiterBox, the average cost-per-hire in the manufacturing industry is $5,159. Many variables go into calculating your cost-per-hire including your recruiter's time, job fair participation fees, job board fees and ad spend.   

    An apprenticeship program provides a 94% retention rate according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Joliet Junior College is a program sponsor for many advanced manufacturing occupations and is partnering with manufacturers to establish their apprenticeship programs in the area of machinists, industrial maintenance technicians and more.  

    Picture1mm.jpg

    Daisy Mireles, a student in JJC’s Operations Engineering & Technician (OET) program, works on a pump during one of her classes. The OET program prepares students with the education and training needed to become an operator or maintenance position in the petrochemical, manufacturing or nuclear industry. 

    *** 

    Discover what manufacturing careers are available with the Illinois workNet Careers, Wages & Trends Search that allows you to use career and labor market information to:  

    • Plan for high school and beyond.​​​   
    • Complete job applications and prepare for interviews.​​​   
    • Find out about the expected number of job openings and how much a job could pay.   
    • Make a job change, relocate, or request a pay raise.   


    Be sure to follow our event calendar for upcoming eventsVirtual Job Fairs (VJF), and social media pages to learn more about Manufacturing Month:   

  • 2020
    10/07

    National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020

    ​This month is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Observed nationwide every October, NDEAM is a way to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities. It also helps organizations across the country to educate others on the value and impact of having a diverse workforce. As this month gets started, be sure to take advantage of the resources available to you on the disabilityworks website of Illinois workNet and elsewhere that can assist you directly:

    Autonomy Works is an organization based in Illinois that employs adults with autism. Recently featured in an episode of 60 Minutes, Autonomy Works helps adults with autism find employment opportunities from training individuals to matching them with jobs based on their talent. To learn more about Autonomy Works including current hiring needs, visit their website today.

    Be sure to check out and participate in upcoming events in Illinois and share with those you know. Visit the Illinois workNet Event Calendar today.
     
    Follow us on Social Media for the latest on Disability Employment Awareness Month:

  • 2020
    10/05

    Celebrating Manufacturing and Highlighting its Importance to the Local Economy – Part 1

    ​Manufacturing is essential to every aspect of our world and serves as a catalyst by creating a ripple effect that impacts other important areas, including the local economy. Take a moment to think about the products that we use on a daily basis and it becomes even more evident how important manufacturing really is. From the vehicles we drive and fuel that goes in the tank to food and beverage products, the manufacturing industry and its workforce has an important role.

    Below is the first part of an article about the manufacturing industry. Throughout Manufacturing Month, we will be posting the other two installments of this article that highlights the importance and impact the manufacturing industry has to the workforce and our communities.

    ***

    Workforce Contributions

    Over the years, manufacturing has transformed into an innovative, high-tech industry that provides a pathway to rewarding career opportunities. The shop floor isn't what it used to be. Technology has revolutionized the manufacturing industry by incorporating robotics, automation and 3D printing into production processes. In addition to positions in the plant, there are varieties of other occupations available such as human resources, information technology, accounting and sales to name a few.

    "The perception of manufacturing has changed over the years from a low-skill, dirty and dangerous job to a high-tech, high-skill and high-paying one," said Randy Tatum, Site Manager of the LyondellBasell Morris Complex. "At LyondellBasell, we employ some of the finest professionals in our industry right here in Grundy County."

    It's also been communicated that there is a shortage of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector due to a retiring workforce and lack of qualified applicants, therefore, the employment outlook is very favorable. Manufacturing also provides opportunities for employees to live in the communities where they work, which in turn stimulates spending into the local economy.

    According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), "manufacturers in Illinois account for 12.54% of the total output in the state, employing 9.58% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing was $108.43 billion in 2018. In addition, there were an average of 592,000 manufacturing employees in Illinois in 2019, with an average annual compensation of $89,853.35 in 2018."

    Value-Added Benefits

    For every product that gets manufactured there are numerous value-added benefits to the supply chain. Whether it's the supplier of raw materials, the transportation company delivering the product or any job function in between, there's a multitude of companies and personnel that contribute to the entire manufacturing process. Essentially this equates to more jobs in a variety of career pathways across multiple sectors.

    "Manufacturing generates more economic activity than other sectors. For every dollar of domestic manufacturing value-added, another $3.60 of economic activity is generated elsewhere across the economy. For every manufacturing job, there are 3.4 jobs created in nonmanufacturing industries. No other sector comes close to these numbers," as mentioned in an interview on Area Development's website.

    ***

    Illinois workNet Resources

    Discover what manufacturing careers are available with the Illinois workNet Careers, Wages & Trends Search that allows you to use career and labor market information to: 

    • Plan for high school and beyond.   
    • Complete job applications and prepare for interviews.   
    • Find out about expected number of job openings and how much a job could pay.  
    • Make a job change, relocate, or request a pay raise.  
    Be sure to follow our event calendar for upcoming events, Virtual Job Fairs (VJF), and social media pages to learn more about Manufacturing Month:  

  • 2020
    10/03

    National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2020

    October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). This month raises awareness about the importance of keeping private information that is online safe. The Department of Homeland Security's website says that this is a "collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online…" To learn more, visit the NCSAM website.

    This year's theme is "Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart." Each week of this month has a theme to consider and will be promoted by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA):

    • Week of October 5: If You Connect It, Protect It
    • Week of October 12: Securing Devices at Home and Work
    • Week of October 19: Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Healthcare
    • Week of October 26: The Future of Connected Devices

    Additionally, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) celebrates this month. To see what events they are hosting this month along with other resources, visit this page.

    In this increasingly technological time, it is important to keep up to date on the latest information and resources available to you. Whether it is identity theft, company data breaches, or cyberattacks and other online scams be sure to read the following articles on Illinois workNet to protect yourself from online threats:

    Illinois workNet Articles:

    Follow us on Social Media for the latest on Cybersecurity Awareness Month:

  • 2020
    10/02

    Upcoming Veteran Virtual Recruitment Presentation - October 7, 2020

    The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will be holding a veteran virtual recruitment presentation on October 7th, 2020.

    The virtual training workshop will be provided to counsel and guide veterans who are seeking employment with the state of Illinois. The presentations will focus on educating individuals interested in learning the process of applying for state employment and will address general questions including veteran preference in state hiring. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet representatives of the Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs recruitment to discuss state employment opportunities.

    You may register for the event on this page.

    For any questions about the event please email johnny.rodriguez@illinois.gov

    Applicants interested in employment with the Illinois Dept. of Human Services can email DHS.RECRUITMENT@ILLINOIS.GOV  or they can complete the DHS employment link below:

    Please also feel free to complete this brief survey to let us know any and all titles or positions in which you are interested.

    Visit www.work.illinois.gov to see state employment opportunities at our state agencies. 

    Below is a list of resources for Veterans that are available on Illinois workNet:

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  • 2020
    10/01

    Manufacturing Month 2020

    Every October is Manufacturing Month. As this month gets started, be sure you have the resources to reach your manufacturing career, training, and employment goals. Be sure to check out the Illinois Manufacturers' Association (IMA) website throughout October for events, resources, and more. 

    View Illinois workNet’s manufacturing related resources below: 

    Also, be sure to check out these Manufacturing related articles on Illinois workNet: 

    Manufacturing Day brings together hundreds of manufacturers across America to host students, educators, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses and other public events designed to showcase manufacturing technology and careers. Learn more about Manufacturing Month at the Manufacturing Day website! 

    If you are looking for manufacturing employers in Illinois who are hiring, be sure to check out the Virtual Job Fair (VJF) employer booth listing and select "Manufacturing" from the "Filter by Industry" dropdown. Keep an eye on the Virtual Job Fair events calendar for upcoming VJFs held by manufacturing employers.

    Need to update your resume for your next manufacturing job? Then be sure to check out the templates in our Resume Building tool for jobs in manufacturing. All you need to do is login to or create an Illinois workNet account.

    Follow us on Social Media for the latest on Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month: