In Strictly Business Episode 1: Creating Career Pathways for Manufacturers, host Josh Grodzin discusses workforce development resources with Manufacturing Instructor of Elk Grove High School Bill Merchantz and Manager of Business Services at Illinois workNet Center Deb Lawrence.
From exposing high school students to manufacturing to training established, skilled workers on new industry technology, tune in to hear what Bill and Deb have to say:
1. Building career pathways
"We are a comprehensive school, so we don't pigeonhole students, but we can direct them down the right career path." -Bill Merchantz, Elk Grove High School
Being in the center of a manufacturing mecca, it was crucial for Elk Grove High School (EGHS) to establish a program that would help guide qualified students in the direction of a manufacturing career. Local manufacturers were constantly calling EGHS inquiring if there were any students about to graduate who were looking for work.
EGHS works with their students to build career pathways by identifying their skills and interests, to help direct students down the right career path.
2. Connecting manufacturers with skilled interns
"Manufacturers are not required to hire interns, but we've seen a 70% to 80% placement and retention rate." -Deb Lawrence, Illinois workNet Center
Deb Lawrence discusses the opportunities and programs offered by Illinois workNet Center for both employers and employees. Funded through the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), Illinois workNet Center partners with different organizations in the area to design workforce development programs, including a multi-week bootcamp that prepares workers to be job-ready, as well as 8-week paid internships.