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Kane County seeks participants for accelerated training program

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – Kane County has yet to reach its enrollment goal for a statewide program that aims to train individuals for manufacturing jobs, but staff said Wednesday it is off to a great start.

Staff shared the update on the Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing Program during the Kane County Jobs Committee.

It aims to address the gap between job seekers’ skills and the skills needed for manufacturing, specifically in the occupations of CNC operators, welders, industrial machinery mechanics and electronic repairers/robotics technicians.

Kane County aims to provide training to about 35 people over 18 months. It is marketing the program through Illinois workNet Centers and in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

As of mid-November, 10 individuals – including residents from Maple Park and St. Charles – had enrolled and are expected to begin their training soon.

Of the participants, half are entering the manufacturing field for the first time, while the others have experience but lack the required credentials to secure full-time, permanent employment.

Six employers also have agreed to participate in the program by providing the trainees with work-based learning opportunities. The employers also will consider hiring the participants.

The employer partners located in the Tri-Cities are Burgess-Norton Manufacturing in Geneva, Bison Gear in St. Charles, Smith & Richardson in Geneva and Olcott Plastics in St. Charles.

The county hopes to have 15 employer partners.

Committee chair and county board member Brian Pollock, D-Aurora, said this is a great program that brings a pool of people and a pool of manufacturers together. He would like to see this happen in other industries, such as information technology and health care, he said.

Funding is provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as part of a Workforce Innovation Funds grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. About $2 million has been funneled to the state’s metro suburban region.

Visit www.manufacturing4illinois.com or contact Renee Thompson of Kane County Illinois workNet at 630-208-1486 or reneethompson@kcdee.org for information.

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