There are many paths to a successful career. On Monday, November 16th, Winzeler Gear and QCC, both of Harwood Heights, IL, will be at Ridgewood High School in Norridge, IL presenting an option many high school freshmen students likely have never considered…manufacturing.
In recent years there has been a big push to give more students the opportunity to go to college. Yet, statistics show nearly 45% of recent graduates with a college education are underemployed, accepting positions not equal to their education. Plus they carry an average $30,000 of debt. It is no longer clear that a 4-year college education has a good return on investment.
In stark contrast, a study of Northern Illinois’ top 100 jobs shows students with both a high school diploma and an associates or technical training education will have the level of education needed for 70% of those top 100 jobs.
Winzeler Gear has been exploring ways to fill the skilled-worker void, working with a number of schools and organizations and providing much-needed resources. Winzeler Gear has recently helped establish a local Manufacturing Advisory Council to assist Ridgewood High School explore careers in manufacturing.
In addition to the presentation on November 16th, Ridgewood students will be invited to tour QCC and Winzeler Gear facilities in early December. Then in 2016 Winzeler Gear plans to offer internships so students can experience working in a manufacturing facility first hand.
Manufacturing is hungry for qualified, skilled workers. Presenting students with options they had not even considered will go a long way toward meeting that need in the future.