The primary week started with orientation and security, however by the tip of it, some McHenry County youngsters had been already working with laser cutters.
Practically 100 highschool college students and up to date graduates throughout McHenry County are getting a style of what it’s wish to work in manufacturing as a part of a brand new 10-week internship hosted by the world’s Manufacturing Pathways Consortium.
The imaginative and prescient of this system is to get college students expertise within the subject, in addition to change the notion for these coming into the workforce that manufacturing isn’t seeing development, stated Jessup Manufacturing President and CEO Robert Jessup, whose McHenry-based enterprise is internet hosting interns this summer time.
“In a number of methods traditionally, manufacturing has gotten a foul fame,” he stated. “However manufacturing in McHenry County is prospering.”
Seven of the highest 20 employers in McHenry County are producers, in accordance knowledge from the McHenry County Financial Improvement Company. These firms make use of over 3,500 individuals.
Within the final 10 years, manufacturing in McHenry County has grown between 15 and 18%, stated James Sitko, a regional mission supervisor with the McHenry County Financial Improvement Company. Of the 8,500 or so companies within the county, between 2,400 and a couple of,500 do some sort of producing.
Latest Cary-Grove Excessive College graduate Amy Baron, 18, stated she joined the internship program to have one thing to get her out of the home in the course of the summer time.
“I figured this was an excellent alternative to get expertise in an trade I’ve some curiosity in,” she stated. “I need to get a greater thought of how issues truly work.”
Baron is at present at Jessup, which makes adhesive coated movies, and is one in every of 20 companies taking part in this system. As a part of this system, college students work at companies on a rotational foundation, with many working at one enterprise for 5 weeks after which switching to a different.
Shaped in 2019, the Manufacturing Pathways Consortium is made up of almost 70 producers, in addition to representatives from every highschool within the county and about 30 group companions, Jones stated.
“The businesses are all totally different sizes and totally different specialities inside manufacturing,” Jones stated.
Additionally taking part is McHenry County Faculty, which is serving as a quasi-hub for everybody taking part in this system, MCC Affiliate Vice President of Workforce Improvement Catherine Jones stated.
Woodstock-based BTM Industries Inc., one of many 20 companies, has two interns this rotation, President Kyra Tillman stated. She stated she thinks this system is extra about creating consciousness across the trade than it’s constructing the workforce.
“I feel most individuals, even those that have lived right here their entire life, don’t understand how a lot we make in McHenry County,” she stated. “I feel that’s an enormous deal for individuals to comprehend that. There’s a number of alternatives right here.”
Whereas solely a pair weeks into this system, the scholars are seeing a number of totally different elements of the job. Tim Kasper, 17, who will probably be a senior at Cary-Grove Excessive College subsequent 12 months, stated since becoming a member of Jessup, he’s labored with a laminator and has minimize materials.
“I need to see what a producing firm does from the within,” Kasper stated.
Different jobs at Jessup will embrace slitting, die chopping, packaging and a few workplace work, Jessup stated.
At BTM, the interns have been shadowing these inside the firm, Tillman stated. This has included shadowing the creation of programming for machines or shadowing somebody utilizing a machine itself.
“We’re transferring them round … and exposing them the place we will,” Tillman stated.
As a part of the Advance McHenry County grant program, which has the county doling out almost $60 million in federal COVID-19 pandemic help, this system acquired greater than $700,000.
That grant helps to offset the pay every pupil receives, Jones stated. The hourly wage for the interns is $15 throughout the board with interns working 29 hours per week.
The funding from the county will safe this system’s first three years, with annually bringing in 100 college students, Jones stated.
To start out in search of college students, a name went out to every highschool within the space, Jones stated. College students that had been eligible included these 16 to 18 years previous.
Interviews started in April, which had been adopted by gives. College students started the internship in the course of the week of June 6.
Popping out of that course of, Tillman stated she was “pleasantly stunned” by the curiosity from college students, as greater than 200 utilized.
“I’m extraordinarily happy with our county for doing this,” Tillman stated. “I’m a third-generation proprietor right here, and I need to see manufacturing proceed [in the U.S.] and in McHenry County. I feel it is a unbelievable step in the suitable route to begin opening our doorways to the youthful technology.”