Business Block Party
Free Hiring and Training Resources for Manufacturers
Free Hiring and Training Resources for Manufacturers

Information you can use: this is part of a series recapping educational sessions held during the 2013 Made In Elk Grove Manufacturing Expo.

Workforce development resources regularly go untapped by businesses. The reasons vary from lack of knowledge to budget constraints and the fear of endless paperwork.

But Mohammed Faheem is out to change that. He's passionate about connecting businesses — particularly manufacturers — with workforce development resources to reach their training and employment goals. Illinois workNet is one such resource, and the good news is that its services are easy to tap and offered at little or no cost.

Q: Tell us about Illinois workNet.

A: Illinois workNet is a comprehensive employment, business services and support resource made up of one-stop offices throughout the state, as well as online tools and resources. My team at Business and Career Services, Inc. operates the Illinois workNet Center in Arlington Heights. We offer businesses of any size help with everything from recruitment and hiring to training. We're also your entry point to an extensive network of public and private support programs that can help address many business challenges. Our goal is to save job seekers and employers time, effort and money.

Q: What are some of the programs and services Illinois workNet offers?

A: There are dozens. Several are designed to connect employers with programs to strengthen their existing workforce. We offer support with hiring,d including and labor market data on the availability of talent in the region. We also hold on topics like investment resources; hiring trends; crisis management; using social media; tax credits; and understanding labor and employment law. I'm proud to say many of our innovative programs have been highlighted nationally as best practices in workforce development.

Q: How about the Illinois JobLink system?

A: Illinois JobLink is a great resource. It's a free, Internet-based job search tool that features both statewide and nationwide job banks. Employers can post jobs for free and instantly access a pool of potential employees, streamlining the hiring process.

Q: What else should we know about Illinois workNet?

A: The support we offer employers is just one side of the coin. We also serve workers and job seekers. I'm especially excited about our . It's a summer boot camp to train young people for manufacturing jobs — youth who previously were working in fast-food restaurants. After the first boot camp, 10 out of 17 participants were offered full-time employment by local manufacturers and the remaining seven chose to go back to school for education in manufacturing. One young man is at Iowa State University working toward his bachelor's degree. He interned at Bley Industries right in Elk Grove Village. Other programs and grants are developing pathways to manufacturing for returning military veterans and other populations that offer so much potential. It's very exciting. We're opening up a pipeline to manufacturing as a career path while also expanding the talent pool in our state.

Q: How can a company start working with your office?

A: Call us to learn more about how your company can benefit from our services and support resources. A representative of our team will be glad to explain our programs and work with you to help your business save time, effort and money. You can also visit our website:

For more information, contact:

Mohammed Faheem
Director Business Employer Solutions & Corporate Outreach
Business and Career Services, Inc./Illinois workNet Center in Arlington Heights
630.245.0202 (cell)
847.437.9425 (direct)

Debra Lawrence
Business & Employer Solutions - Corporate/Community Relations
Business and Career Services, Inc./Illinois workNet Center in Arlington Heights
224.538.1039 (cell)
847.437.9485 (direct)

About Mohammed Faheem

Workforce development expert Mohammed Faheem is Director of Business Employer Solutions and Corporate Relations at the Illinois workNet Center in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He has over 25 years of experience in business management, radio and marketing. A frequent speaker, he is active with many associations and nonprofits. His contributions to public service have been lauded by both President Clinton and President Bush.

About Made In Elk Grove Manufacturing Expo

Made In Elk Grove Manufacturing Expo is the only event of its kind. Exclusive to the manufacturing community, the Expo provides attending OEMs and manufacturers a unique opportunity to Connect, Collaborate, and Cultivate relationships with local manufacturers. Held in Elk Grove Village, IL, on Oct. 29, 2013, the inaugural Expo featured nearly 100 exhibitors, breakout educational sessions like the one summarized above, plus networking opportunities and more. Industries represented include precision machining, plastics, electronics and industrial services. To learn more about the 2014 Expo, Subscribe Here