SOUTH HOLLAND, IL–South Suburban College (SSC) was notified in a letter last week from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) of their approval for a new Manufacturing Basics 16-hour Certificate, effective immediately. SSC plans to roll out the new credit program at the start of the fall semester–August 18, 2014.
Within SSC’s district and region, manufacturing companies are expanding their workforce to include a variety of levels of skills. For example, a local furniture manufacturer has tripled its workers in the past five years and is now in the process of adding still another location. This new certificate will prepare students for entry-level and promotional opportunities in the field of manufacturing. The courses are designed to provide students with foundational information, principles, theories and techniques, and current technologies necessary to work in a manufacturing environment. Students will be introduced to manufacturing scenarios to enhance the learning process, as well as have the opportunity to conduct research and interviews of those who have been successful. They will receive information developed by a labor market-based program as well as industry-recognized credentials from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), by taking the four assessments leading to the Certified Production Technician certification. Math is included through a course that will be contextualized for the manufacturing environment. The final course will be an internship, allowing students a hands-on opportunity to be part of the world of manufacturing.
“We are extremely pleased to receive these INAM funds so that we can meet the needs of our workforce while helping residents achieve gainful employment,” said Becky Admave, Dean of Extension Services. “This program could be very beneficial to manufacturers in the south suburban and northwest Indiana region, and we look forward to putting it into action immediately alongside our other new programs.”
The new program is funded by the INAM grant. INAM (Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing) is a network of 21 community colleges across the state of Illinois. INAM has been tasked, through a multi-million dollar grant from the Department of Labor, to train and certify students for entry into the rewarding field of advanced manufacturing. The funding has assisted community colleges throughout Illinois to upgrade their advanced manufacturing facilities with the latest equipment, expand welding and mechatronics labs, and update curricula to reflect the changing face of manufacturing.
SSC and its Business & Career Institute (BCI) have been called upon by local manufactures over the past few years more than ever to develop curriculum to meet the wide range of skills needed for their growing labor demands. SSC also opened a state-of-the-art Welding Lab last January and is offering a variety of welding classes crossing over several new programs. Plans are in place for a comprehensive credit welding curriculum coming in 2015. Additionally, BCI is near completion on the construction of a high-tech, hands-on Manufacturing Lab at the college’s Oak Forest Center. Other new cutting-edge, short-term programs include Industrial Maintenance Technician, Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP), Industrial/Brownfield Safety, Land Reuse and Public Safety Certificate, Green Entrepreneur and Green Construction, and more.
“Growth in manufacturing and in the TWL [transportation, warehousing and logistics] fields is both significant and rapidly evolving in our region, and represents an opportunity for our area,” said Admave. “This new program is just another step to ensure that SSC plays a vital role to foster this growth and provide the career pathways for our residents now and in the future.”
SSC’s Business & Career Institute serves as a regional headquarters for workforce preparation, employee training, business development and technology deployment. BCI provides training, consulting, and economic and business development resources for the Chicago Southland. For their efforts, BCI has been recognized as a High Performance Business & Industry Center by the Center for Adult and Experiential Learning, among other accolades.
For more information, please call (708) 596-2000, ext. 2522. SSC is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The college’s Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 S. Kilbourn, Oak Forest, Illinois.