For Immediate Release
Lake Land College President, Josh Bullock, Investing in Workforce Training Editorial:
“As your community college, our goal is to provide services that are relevant to your businesses and communities. We are proud to partner with many community and economic organizations throughout the district to achieve goals that improve the opportunities in our area.
By seeking feedback from industry leaders and professionals on our program advisory boards we regularly gather input to improve our courses and program offerings. During the past few years, Lake Land College has created nine new programs and made significant changes to eight existing programs in response to industry feedback and workforce needs. Our expert faculty, staff and Center for Business & Industry resources allow us to be flexible and responsive to the needs of employers.
Regionally, we are experiencing a gap between the number of job openings and the trained, skilled employees available to fill those positions. This gap is magnified on a national level. According to a recent study conducted by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute, six out of 10 skilled production positions currently go unfilled due to a lack of trained applicants. In just seven years, the unfilled jobs in manufacturing are projected to top 2 million. These projections are particularly relevant in our Lake Land College district as manufacturing is by far the largest employment sector, according to the Data for Decision Makers report prepared by the University of Illinois Extension and Lake Land College.
Part of developing a solution to this issue is to create training programs that move students through an educational module in a timely fashion. We realize employee shortages drain the bottom line. To address this issue, Lake Land College has partnered with industry leaders to provide training in non-traditional, accelerated formats. Recent examples include the IT-LaunchCode, 20-week web application development certificate and LSC Communications Fast Track, an eight-week manufacturing skills certificate.
We understand the process of hiring skilled employees can also be a challenge. Lake Land College’s fast track partnerships offer companies a means to integrate skill development into the hiring process. By screening the applicants ahead of time and offering courses relevant to the needs of a specific industry, graduates are well trained and ready to be hired in just weeks versus years.
Our Lake Land College Board of Trustees recently reaffirmed the college’s commitment to developing a trained workforce for the region we serve through creation of a new Workforce Solutions Tuition and Fee waiver program. If a district business develops a specialized certificate program in collaboration with the college, and the business promises to hire all of the completers, the college will guarantee tuition and fees will be covered for the students. In other words, as long as an employer agrees to hire the graduates, then there is no out of pocket cost to the sponsoring business or the students. It’s that simple.
We want to ensure students have the opportunity to take advantage of these unique opportunities to earn a valuable education, while creating a pathway for a successful career right here in our community. We also want our local employers to know we are committed to helping take their companies to the next level.
Partnerships like these are the key to providing an educated workforce that in turn results in a thriving economy and community. What can Lake Land College do to help your company reach its goals? Let’s start the conversation at lakelandcollege.edu/presidents-office.”