Workforce Development/Jobs Creation
DuPage United has spent the past two years studying a serious mid-skill jobs gap in DuPage County’s manufacturing sector, educating the public via presentations at our member institutions and other civic organizations, and building a solution in cooperation with the county and local manufacturers.
- The jobs gap: Manufacturing has become a major presence here. Some 52,000 people now work in this sector. About a fourth of them will retire within the next ten years. Replacing them will be a difficult and ongoing problem. Even now about a third of existing openings are unfilled. The reason is that most applicants don’t have the technological expertise needed in today’s computer-based manufacturing.
At issue are more than just manufacturing jobs. Each new job in manufacturing creates four to six other jobs, including positions in legal and clerical support services, in materials suppliers, and in wholesale/retail enterprises.
Thus, closing the manufacturing jobs gap is an important part of ensuring a positive economic future for DuPage County.
- Resources: Excellent technology education facilities such as College of DuPage and the Technology Center of DuPage are available. But they are underutilized, principally because many young people -- and their parents – just aren’t interested. They don’t see the long-term benefits of a career in manufacturing.
In addition to educational resources, money is available. Job development funding can be had from a number of public and private sources.