Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter

Cook County aims to accelerate apprenticeships | Illinois


(The Center Square) – The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development has created a Manufacturing Apprenticeship Accelerator.

According to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the program is funded with $810,000 from federal American Rescue Plan Act taxpayer funds.

“As the name suggests, this program will accelerate the hiring process for manufacturers and offer a pathway for job seekers interested in a career in manufacturing,” Preckwinkle said.

The county is working with Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a Chicago nonprofit. The organization’s CEO, Bridget Altenburg, said employers need skilled workers.

“Companies are struggling to find talent, especially in manufacturing and the trades,” Altenburg said.

Altenburg said Skills for Chicagoland’s Future has worked for the last decade in Cook County to bridge the gap between overlooked talent and companies with quality jobs.

“Companies like the ones that are going to work with this accelerator, that are finding new talent pipelines, that are training their own talent, are going to leap ahead of their competitors relying on the same old, same old,” Altenburg said.

Preckwinkle said the Manufacturing Apprenticeship Accelerator was launched to provide a concierge service for employers in need of talent. She added that Skills for Chicagoland’s Future will also provide supportive services to new apprentices.

“These services include career counseling, transportation assistance, professional attire and referrals for child care,” Preckwinkle said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois lost 7,800 manufacturing jobs in 2023. Hundreds more have left in 2024, thanks in part to closures of the Quaker Oats plant in Danville and Blommer Chocolate in Chicago.

Wirepoints reports that manufacturing employment in Illinois has dropped nearly 5% over the last five years.

Meanwhile, neighboring states like Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri have added jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Source link

Picture of Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit