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Borek: Workforce development link business, educators

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 11:31 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 12:40 a.m. CDT

Career and workforce development are top priorities for economic development In DeKalb County. The availability of qualified workers is important for business attraction, as well as local business retention and expansion. Several activities addressing these opportunities are underway.

Career development and business growth – enrich your talent pool with NIU interns: Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will be featured at the next DCEDC Business Roundtable Luncheon April 3 at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau Center for Agriculture in Sycamore.

Student Career Success has been identified as a “keystone goal” by Baker. He has said that internships are “the single-most important thing that predicts whether students will get a job after graduation, more important than their grades, their school or their major.” Interns gain valuable experience while contributing skills and ideas to business and industry.

High-performing interns often are invited to become full-time employees filling important needs at these companies.

To register for this Business Roundtable Luncheon, visit www.dcedc.org. Questions about the event can be directed to Karen Hoyle at 815-895-2711.

Worker candidates and industrial employers sought for accelerated training: Adult candidates are being recruited to participate in the Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing program. The training programs will be 4 to 6 weeks in length. After successful completion, candidates will be placed into an on-the-job training placement or direct placement with local employers to begin utilizing newly acquired skill sets. To apply, candidates should contact the Illinois workNet Center at 815-901-0177, ext. 257.

Industrial employers also are needed to guide programs to ensure the training provided meets their needs. In return, employers will gain access to individuals trained to industry standards and responsive to the employer’s specific needs.

Training programs consist of Welding, Safety, CNC, Logistics and Mechatronics. Interested employers should contact Paul Borek at 815-895-2711 or borek@dcedc.org.

High school students tour industry and engineering school: 125 students from four high schools participated in the “Assemble Ur Career Tour” on Feb. 19. The tour, sponsored by the DeKalb Ogle County Industrial Workforce Consortium, was design to introduce students to careers available at local manufacturing firms and to engineering and technology studies at NIU.

Genoa-Kingston students toured Custom Aluminum Products in Genoa and Graphic and Industrial Circuits in Kirkland. Students from Rochelle High School and the Kishwaukee Education Consortium toured Silgan Packaging, Clark Dietrich Packaging Systems and Del Monte in Rochelle. DeKalb High School students toured Sauber Manufacturing in Virgil and SK Hand Tools in Sycamore. Sycamore High School students toured Manufacturing Packaging Products, Thompson Industries and The Suter Co. in Sycamore.

After the plant tours, all students visited the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at NIU. Students visited classrooms and laboratories including electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, mechanical engineering, technology and robotics. Participating students were challenged to identify their next step in education and career development.

• Paul Borek is executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp.

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