Effingham County Manufacturing Day set for October
The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, in coordination with Lake Land College, the City of Effingham and the Effingham County Economic Development Foundation will hold Effingham County Manufacturing Day on Fri., October 4 for area high school students.
Effingham County Manufacturing Day will offer students an opportunity to not only learn about career opportunities and the skills and educational requirements needed for the manufacturing industry, but students will also tour a local manufacturing facilities to experience the work environment first-hand.
“It is critical for our young people to be ready to enter the workforce with the skills and qualifications necessary to sustain long-term and viable employment, especially within east central Illinois,” said Josh Bullock, president of Lake Land College. “That’s why the Effingham County Manufacturing Day is so important.”
According to the 2011 Skills Gap Report from the National Association of Manufacturers, 67 percent of employers reported a moderate to severe shortage of available qualified workers. Likewise, 56 percent of employers anticipate that the shortage will grow worse in the next three to five years.
“There is a perception out there that working in manufacturing is undesirable,” explained Bullock. “But the reality is that the manufacturing sector provides long-term, stable employment in a high-tech environment. In fact, 90 percent of manufacturing workers have medical benefits, while 78 percent enjoy retirement contributions from their employers.”
According to the 2012 Effingham County Compensation and Benefits Survey, the average annual wage for an individual working in Effingham County is $33,135 which is above average for counties of similar size in Illinois. Additionally, the average annual salary increase is three percent, which matches the national average and 67 percent of local employers in Effingham County offer education assistance.
“This is a great opportunity to show young people what comes out of Effingham County and goes around the globe, said Norma Lansing, president of the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s important to expose them to what’s going on in their own communities so that they can become engaged in the manufacturing industry if they choose to do so.”
Participating companies include Hitachi Metals Automotive Components, Hodgson Mill, John Boos & Co., Kingery Printing, Nova Solutions, Quad Graphics, Siemer Milling Company, Southeastern Container Inc., Stevens Industries and Versatech.
During the day, the City of Effingham and the Effingham County Economic Development Foundation are providing the opportunity for students to have lunch with Chamber members at the at the Effingham County Chamber’s first Friday Luncheon, where Bullock will be the guest speaker.
“The City of Effingham is very excited to participate in the inaugural Manufacturing Day in Effingham County,” said Jim Arndt, administrator for the City of Effingham. “We are hopeful this will be an annual event that offers area high school students a hands-on opportunity to see what types of jobs are available locally. Effingham is proud to be home to several quality industrial employers that have a variety of job opportunities for those fresh out of high school all the way up to applicants that possess graduate degrees. Manufacturing Day is a dynamic grass roots effort to encourage our local area students to take advantage of the opportunities that are available in their own back yard.”
Manufacturing Day is an annual national event, executed at the local level, which supports manufacturers across the nation that host open houses designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers. Locations of events across the country can be found at http://www.mfgday.com/events.
For more information about the Effingham County Manufacturing Day, contact Norma Lansing at the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce office at 217-342-4147.