Governor signs bill to keep high-tech manufacturing classes in area schools

By WEEK Producer

Governor signs bill to keep high-tech manufacturing classes in area schools

June 26, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 10:37 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Governor Pat Quinn has signed House Bill 1868 into law. The bill, sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes, is aimed at keeping high-tech manufacturing classes in area high schools.

The Focus Forward Central Illinois Economic Development Steering Committee works on issues aimed at job creation and retention in central Illinois. One of their major concerns is closing the skills gap between ideal job candidates and the skills employers are finding among area job applicants.

In an effort to close the gap, employers like Excel Foundry & Machine began partnering with local high schools to share information with students in area high schools about specialized manufacturing careers.

However, due to an unintended consequence of legislation passed last year, new requirements would have gone into effect this summer that would prevent veteran manufacturing employees from teaching without first meeting current college coursework requirements.

Under the provisions of HB 1868, the veteran employees can teach students the skills they need for high-tech manufacturing with a provisional vocational teaching certificate.

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