Join in on the new era of manufacturing at CLC

Manufacturing, like the rest of the world, is continuously going through technological advancements. College of Lake County (CLC) is at the forefront of change with a new industrial technology program.

Be one of the first to enroll in the program when it begins this fall to find your new career or upskill in your current one.

CLC is one of the largest suppliers of the Lake County workforce, and feedback from employers is critical to program offerings and curriculum. The demand for skilled maintenance technicians in Lake County was the major driving force behind the creation of the new program.

"There's a large concentration of pharmaceutical industry in the area," said Director of the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) Jon Hardbarger. "It's one of the big strengths of this county."

Industrial technology is similar to maintenance, but it takes it a step further. This high-tech, high-skill and high-wage program includes installing, operating, diagnosing and repairing automated equipment used in manufacturing industries, as well as maintaining facilities or buildings. The exact tasks for someone who went through the program can vary based on the company they end up working for.

The industrial technology program has foundational skills like basic mechanical skills, electrical circuits and basic motor control, but other skills include welding, pumps, piping and preventative maintenance.

The preventative maintenance component is key, especially in the pharmaceutical industry where small mistakes can ruin products.

Students pursuing industrial technology will also learn in the college's brand-new ATC, located in Gurnee.

"We've made a lot of effort to make sure it is an accurate reflection of a high-tech manufacturing environment," Hardbarger said. "You're going to find lots of light and glass and a place that people find enjoyable to work in. That's what a high-tech environment looks like today."

The ATC also promotes collaboration between the disciplines by working in a shared building. Industrial technology revolves around the connectedness of different machines.

Everything inside the ATC will be brand new, including the equipment and machines students will use daily. This was made possible thanks to a $2 million donation to the industrial technology program from John and Kathy Schreiber.

"There is a lot of excitement in the community," said career program manager of the Engineering, Math and Physical Sciences division Miguel Mireles. "We made sure the curriculum and the skills being taught in the lab are hands-on for students and attractive to local employers."

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