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posted: 10/16/2012 2:24 PM

Hoffman Estates leads way on technical assistance program

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Submitted by the village of Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates is one of 48 communities to be selected for planning support through the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Local Technical Assistance program.

This program encourages collaboration between municipalities, businesses and local not-for-profit agencies to promote sustainable and livable communities.

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The village coordinated the application on behalf of local municipalities, manufacturers, high schools and community colleges that form the grass-roots I-90/Golden Corridor Manufacturing Group.

This organization came together in 2009, and its geographic reach currently extends from O'Hare International Airport to Elgin, including municipalities and businesses adjacent to and nearby the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

In recent years, several local manufacturers from this group have hosted open house events for high school students; however, they have determined that the region would greatly benefit from a coordinated effort to jump-start interest in today's modern manufacturing environment through increased cooperation with secondary and postsecondary education programs.

Through this technical assistance program, staff support and guidance will be provided by CMAP to create a strategy for the local manufacturing industry cluster to improve workforce development and education opportunities in the region's manufacturing profession. This project is anticipated to begin in 2013.

The members of the I-90/Golden Corridor Manufacturing Group recognize that a top-rated, specialized workforce is an attractive asset in recruiting new manufacturers to the regional industry cluster. Municipalities see positive economic impacts because of the group's emphasis on building a sustainable region of skilled workers.

With CMAP's assistance, the group aspires to develop a plan that will incorporate more workforce preparatory education in schools, and eliminate duplicative efforts currently expended by each "silo" of business, school or existing workforce development program.

Funding for this LTA program is provided by a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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