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Steering the Next Generation Toward Manufacturing
Steering the Next Generation Toward Manufacturing

Does your manufacturing company struggle to find workers with the right skills? Are you disheartened by the lack of young people pursuing careers in manufacturing? Tackle both fronts by getting involved with an innovative program at Elk Grove High School.

Reports are widespread about a shortage of workers qualified to fill skilled manufacturing jobs. According to one study, 600,000 jobs are going unfilled simply because employers can't find workers with the skills to fill them.

Some blame the U.S. education curriculum for not producing workers ready to work in modern manufacturing.

However, in Elk Grove Village, the local high school is a model for how to steer and prepare teens to work in manufacturing.

Three years ago, Elk Grove High School launched its Advanced Machining Program, a two-year curriculum that will graduate its first group of students in May.

Kyle Burritt, EGHS Associate Principal, says one factor in the program's success is Elk Grove Village's rich manufacturing legacy — and having Elk Grove Business Park right in the school's backyard.

• The program's Advisory Board includes Warren Young from ACME Industries and Michael Walter from MET Plastics, as well as Josh Grodzin, Elk Grove Village Director of Business Development and Marketing.

• The 2013 Made in Elk Grove Manufacturing Expo provided an opportunity for students to network with local manufacturers.

• Local companies can be a source for donations and sponsorships. Last year, MET Plastics in Elk Grove donated $20,000 worth of equipment that now serves as a classroom training station to help students develop metalworking skills.

Michael Walter, President of MET Plastics, was happy to donate equipment that otherwise was going to become scrap.

"There's definitely a skills shortage in our industry," he says. “Partnering with EGHS allows us to promote the manufacturing industry and give kids an idea of career choices within manufacturing."

Burritt hopes more companies will connect with the program, especially when they need to fill internships and job openings.

“We're readying the next generation of skilled workers," he says. “Ideally, our students will find career opportunities right in the area. That's our hope."

Learn more about Elk Grove High School's Advanced Machining Program in this video.

Want to get involved with the program?

Contact:Kyle Burritt
Associate Principal
Elk Grove High School
500 W. Elk Grove Blvd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 718-4412

About Made in Elk Grove Manufacturing ExpoMade 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 for Updates Here