Illinois manufacturers look to fill open jobs

Illinois manufacturers look to fill open jobs.

Illinois is in need of thousands of manufacturing jobs filled as retirements and additional production need is resulting in open jobs.

There are jobs available in multiple manufacturing industries such as truck drivers, welders, and HVAC workers.

Some organizations are working with the classroom by using science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses in schools to remind students the importance of these jobs.

But with tens of thousands of jobs open, some organizations said there are simply not enough qualified people to fill them all.

"Probably a combination of people leaving the workforce and just the companies we work with have just seen an increase in production need," Director of Operations for Manpower of Central Illinois Ginette Comstock said.

But filling these jobs year after year is a reality for Illinois manufacturers.

"We have definitely seen an increase in need for people to fill those types of positions."

While some departments, such as trucking, are in need of thousands of workers.

"In Illinois, you could probably find four to five thousand jobs quite easily," Executive Vice President of Mid-West Truckers Association Don Schaefer said. "Illinois is it's the number one job in Illinois, driving a truck and trucking operations,"

Overall, some need even more workers and said the jobs are important and have quality benefits.

"There are tens of thousands of open manufacturing jobs," Vice President and CEO of Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Mark Denzler said.

While the organizations are working to replace their workers as they retire and move on to other jobs, it is difficult due to the lack of qualified employees. Qualified could mean either they are unable to find skilled workers or even workers who show up to work their hardest.

"The soft skills are equally important having someone who can show up on time every day and who can show up and do the work is equally as important," Denzler said. "If manufacturers find someone like that they will often times find the training or send the person off to get some additional training."

Some potential employers said they are working to get employees through schooling.

"We work with the ISBE, State Board of Education, work with property and employment security, working with various colleges," Schaefer said. "Also, who have put together technical-vocational programs."

With the end goal being to help bring workers, back to the city and to the state.

The Mid-West Truckers Association said Lincoln Land Community College also has courses available to help people become qualified to be truckers.

They are also hoping to introduce that opportunity to students before they graduate high school.

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