Congressman Brad Schneider and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin discussed the growing manufacturing skills gap with Oakton Community College President Margaret Lee, Ph.D. The elected officials visited the College’s Skokie campus to tour its manufacturing lab and meet with students, educators, and industry leaders to discuss industry/education partnerships and efforts to close the gap.
Currently, more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because employers can’t find workers with the necessary skills. Oakton offers a wide range of courses, degrees and certificates, workshops, and customized training programs that provide students with the hands-on experience and skills necessary to compete in 21st-century economy.
Senator Durbin introduced the Community College to Career Fund Act to help create partnerships between two-year colleges and businesses that will train two million Americans for jobs in high-demand industries such as health care, advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and information technology. Congressman Schneider introduced the AMERICA Works Act, which creates an industry-recognized, nationally-portable set of credentials for these skills.