Manufacturers' Career Council Established to Increase Illinois Competitiveness Through Education Programs

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A group of Northern Illinois manufacturers has come together with high school, community college and other community representatives in forming the Manufacturers' Careers Council to provide the direction and programs that will be necessary for the increased skill levels required in industry. Experts say that in Illinois alone, more than 30,000 new manufacturing workers will be needed each year for the next ten years to replace the retiring baby-boomer generation.

Manufacturers' Career Council

Despite the current recession, we are facing a pipeline crisis

A group of Northern Illinois manufacturers has come together with high school, community college and other community representatives in forming the Manufacturers' Careers Council to provide the direction and programs that will be necessary for the increased skill levels required in industry. Experts say that in Illinois alone, more than 30,000 new manufacturing workers will be needed each year for the next ten years to replace the retiring baby-boomer generation.

"Despite the current recession, we are facing a pipeline crisis," said Ron Bullock, Chairman and owner of St. Charles-based Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. "We predict a workforce deficit of those with the higher skills needed for our companies to compete and innovate in the global economy. There is not a job at our facility today that does not require some post-secondary education."

One of the strategies the Manufacturers' Career Council is pursuing is high school and community college implementation of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) Certified Production Technician training program. MSSC is a nationally recognized certification program that allows students interested in manufacturing careers to be credentialed in the four critical skill areas necessary in advanced manufacturing: safety, quality practices and measurement, processes and production, and maintenance awareness. The MSSC credentials are portable nationally allowing workers to assure potential manufacturing employers that they possess the skills necessary to be successful in a wide array of environments.

The next meeting of the Manufacturers' Career Council will be hosted at Bison Gear's St. Charles, IL, facility on January 29, 2009, from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Interested manufacturers, educators and workforce development representatives are invited and should contact Ms. Michelle Kasper at Bison to receive a meeting agenda and confirm their participation.

About Bison Gear & Engineering Corp.
Founded in 1960, Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. designs and manufactures fractional horsepower electric motors, gearmotors and gear reducers used in industrial and commercial OEM applications worldwide. Bison's strong engineering tradition, based on Robusticity (TM) principles, offers products with up to twice as much torque in the same package size as competitors. Bison employs nearly 270 associates in its St. Charles, Illinois facility which produces gearmotors and reducers in parallel shaft and right angle configurations, as well as AC and DC electric motors, for applications where dependability and long lifetimes are important.

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