Manufacturing and Industry Employers: Take Advantage of Workforce Training and Career Development Programs

In service to manufacturing and industry, DCEDC would like to make companies aware of opportunities to help develop workforce skills and capabilities for your business.

Wanted: Manufacturers to Guide/Benefit from Skills Training – Accelerated training in Welding, Safety, CNC, Logistics and Mechatronics (Equipment Service and Repair) will being provided to 133 workforce candidates in DeKalb and surrounding counties. The program will include classroom, technology lab and work-based training. Manufacturers are needed to help select the candidates and to ensure the training provided meets their needs. In return, these employers will gain access to individuals trained to industry standards and responsive to the employer’s specific needs.
Participating manufacturers will provide information 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. Trainees will be made available to these employers for On-the-Job Training (OJT) placements. These employers will be eligible for reimbursement of 50% or more of initial wages for a 6-month period.
The program is funded by a $1.2 million grant awarded the Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance. For information, contact Illinois workNet Center-DeKalb, phone 815-901-0177 x 257, or see attached Employer Training Flyer, Click Here!

Safety/Sustainability Training and Consulting Services are available free-of-charge to companies with 100 or fewer employees. For a limited period of time, training and consulting is available from the Northern Illinois University Department of Technology’s Environmental Safety & Health (ESH) Program ( Training/consulting services include: Environmental Sustainability, Hazard Communication, Job Safety Analyses/Personal Protective Equipment, and Industrial/Office Job Station Ergonomics.
Students working with experienced faculty will provide these services from February through August of this year. Two pilot projects have already been completed. NIU ESH students wrote a stormwater pollution prevention plan for a small company in DeKalb and helped a one person car wash address potentially fatal electrical safety issues.
This program is provided in cooperation with Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC). For information, contact Ted Hogan at or Bill Mills, 815-753-5366 /

Industrial Career Development – The DeKalb Ogle County Industrial Workforce Consortium’s Industrial Workforce Coordination Pilot Program is off to a great start. On National Manufacturing Day last fall, a Heavy Metal Tour was conducted to introduce students to contemporary manufacturing operations, as well as the automated engineering technology labs at Kishwaukee College. Over 100 students from 5 area high schools visited 8 manufacturing plants in DeKalb, Genoa, Sycamore and Rochelle. Students were genuinely excited about industry. Employers were thrilled to introduce young people to creative and rewarding careers.
In February, 120 students are participating in an Assemble Ur Career tour of another 8 manufacturers. These students will learn about production operations and skill needs to help them determine what their “next step” in identifying and preparing for a career will be.
Manufacturing and industrial firms are needed to provide additional career development activities for students. Activities include: school business presentations, company tours, job shadowing programs and internships. The Industrial Workforce Coordination Pilot Program is sponsored by the DeKalb-Ogle County Industrial Workforce Development Consortium, a business/education partnership dedicated to help students identify rewarding careers in progressive manufacturing and industry. To participate, contact Gene Fogle at 815-593-0865 (cell), 815-754-2397 (office), or by email at

Paul Borek is Executive Director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation