Published on June 23rd, 2017 | by Aasha Francis0
Big push for students as jobs in Manufacturing soar
“Follow technology and continue to grow,” says Billy McFarland, CNC Manufacturing program coordinator at Wright College Humboldt Park to his students. The hope is that with the rise of manufacturing jobs; increasing to 3.5 million over the next decade, and with 2 million expected to go unfilled, McFarland anticipates more students walking through the doors of Wright College Humboldt Park to pursue a career in this industry. The average manufacturing worker in the U.S. can earn over $81,000.00 annually, with benefits and with more companies adding more robots to American factory floors, the number of human jobs in manufacturing are increasing as well, bringing off shore jobs back to the U.S. McFarland’s desire to see young men and women gain exposure to this industry is unrelenting and his recruitment efforts have led him to several high schools, events, programs and organizations all over the city of Chicago to expose underrepresented and underserved communities to the manufacturing industry. “If you look toward the future where jobs will be, the decent paying jobs are in STEM which is where the younger generation needs to be, however we have to fight the perception that the manufacturing environment is dirty, damp and doesn’t pay well,” McFarland says.
Jenetta O’Neal, WIOA Coordinator at Wright College, assists with promoting the CNC program to communities, informing them that the program is 100% funded for those who are low income and unemployed through WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) funding. However, she finds that people misunderstand what manufacturing actually is, “People think CNC is the same as factory assembly positions, but once we correct that understanding, people think it’s cool and the response gets better,” O’Neal says.
Currently, steady employment looks promising within the manufacturing field and students can learn CNC skills at Wright’s Humboldt Park location. The 16-week basic certificate college credit program is accredited by NIMS and designed to teach students how to program, set-up and operate Advance Manufacturing machining tools. For those who are interested, classes begin August 29, 2017 and offers day and evening courses with job assistance provided.
For more information on Wright College Humboldt Park’s CNC Manufacturing program visit: www.ccc.edu/wchp