The economy shows signs of picking up
and manufacturing is one sector that's hiring. In fact, students in City
Colleges of Chicago's high-tech manufacturing programs are in such demand that
employers are snapping them up before the completion of their programs.
"The manufacturing sector is one of
the sectors leading the economic recovery and there are some really hot
available right now,"
said Ray Prendergast, Director of Manufacturing and Logistics programs
Richard J. Daley College. According to a U.S. Department of Labor study
released in January, the industry added 225,000 jobs in 2011, growing
for the second
consecutive year. In 2010, the field added jobs for the first time since
Many of these openings,
however, can't be filled with workers laid off from the assembly line, without
additional education. "Factories need employees who are qualified to run their
computerized machine tools and assembly systems, rather than to manually build
the product," explained Prendergast. "Applicants need to have a number of skills
taught in our programs including math, CNC programming, robotics technology and
the ability to read blueprints and measure parts with high precision."
Daley College, its satellite campus
Arturo Velasquez Institute, and Wilbur Wright College's satellite campus
Humboldt Park Vocational Education Center all offer programs in manufacturing
"Most students taking these classes
find jobs before graduation, and in fact, many students don't finish the
associate degree because they find a good-paying job once they gain the
necessary skills and certifications," said Prendergast. "If they
completed the associate degree, they could command an even higher salary -
starting around $60,000 a year."
Learn more about
City Colleges' College to Careers initiative that partners industry
leaders with City Colleges faculty and staff to align programs with