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Borek: Manufacturers needed to guide workforce training program

Manufacturers are invited to participate in the Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing program designed to provide training tailored to the needs of local employers. Short-term training in Welding, Safety, CNC, Logistics and Mechatronics is being provided to eligible workforce candidates beginning in December.

A $1.2 million grant awarded the Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance will integrate classroom/lab-based and work-based training for 133 participants in Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson and Winnebago counties.

Manufacturing employers are needed to join the ATIM team 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.

Participating manufacturers will provide regular updates on occupation needs, job openings, skills and competencies. In addition, employers will be asked to provide work-based learning opportunities, work site tours, job shadowing internships and candidate placement. ATIM trainees will be made available to these employers for On-the-Job Training placements. These employers will be eligible for reimbursement of 50% or more of initial wages.

“Training providers and employers were involved in the application process for this grant,” said DCEDC President and Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance Chairman Paul Callighan. “The program will include bridge programs, work experience assignments and internships, as well as on-the-job training contracts.”

Partners involved in the program include economic development and industry organizations, local community colleges, community-based organizations and numerous employers.

The ATIM program is designed to provide solutions to improve human talent available to local manufacturing employers through customized employment and training activities. Competency-based work-centered training systems that integrate classroom/lab-based and work-based training will be used. Individual participants will receive stackable credentials and/or industry-recognized certifications based on personalized career and training plans that build on the skills workers already have.

The Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance was awarded this ATIM grant on behalf of a regional partnership representing Boone, DeKalb, Stephenson and Winnebago counties. Members of the partnership serve the region and include two Workforce Investment Boards and respective local WIA programs and Illinois workNet Centers, economic development organizations, industry associations, and a core group of manufacturers.

First Institute Training and Management will provide safety training. Manufacturers interested in participating in this program can contact Sharon Dillon at 815-901-0177, ext. 257, or

To participate in CNC, Logistics, Mechatronics and Safety training programs, employers can contact the Darryl Cummings of the Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance/The Workforce Connection at 815-847-7589 or

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

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