WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) invited partners in Harper College's Advanced Manufacturing Training Program to address Senators at the meeting of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee on Wednesday.
Harper's training program is designed to help workers develop the skills needed to find employment in their communities and fill job openings in growing businesses.
"By teaming with local job creators and other nearby educational institutions, this program helps determined workers develop the skills they need to find employment in their community, while also spurring local economic development," Durbin said.
Representing the program was Dr. Ken Ender, President of Harper College, who also serves as a member of the Workforce Board of Northern Cook County and co-chairs the Workforce Development Committee of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents.
"It's critical that we train workers for 21st century jobs," Ender said. "These aren't stereotypical factories anymore. It's high-tech manufacturing using state-of-the-art equipment that requires good math and computer skills as well as critical thinking."
A recent report by the Manufacturing Institute found that companies cannot fill an estimated 600,000 positions due to a lack of skilled workers.