CLC forges link to business recruitment organization
College of Lake County board members have approved an agreement with a regional business development organization that could lead to a new pipeline of students or workers who need training.
"We see this agreement as a way of actually opening the door to us to increase training," CLC President Jerry Weber said. "We already do quite a bit of corporate training."
CLC board members Tuesday night approved the deal between the school and Lake County Partners, a public-private organization that handles business recruitment and retention. No specific businesses or industries are targeted in the agreement.
As part of the deal, Lake County Partners will connect a business to CLC when certain training or service needs are identified for an initiative dubbed Workforce Ecosystem, which includes participation by the Lake County Workforce Development Board. The workforce development board is a business-led policy and oversight group specializing in helping jobseekers and employers.
Grayslake-based CLC's responsibilities will include having school officials make visits to companies or host them on campus, as requested by Lake County Partners and the Lake County Workforce Development Board.
Michael Stevens, president and CEO of Lake County Partners, said CLC will become an important part of business recruitment and retention. He said the college has shown a willingness to adapt to the business community's needs in terms of employee training for certain skills.
"Economic development is becoming less about incentives and more about the talent of where the businesses are looking," Stevens said.
Weber said it's hoped CLC can increase revenue through training programs. He said CLC and other community colleges are evolving by forging relationships with the business community.
"This is the way of the future ... partnerships," he said. "I can't say that enough. We're all saying it at the community colleges."
In 2013, CLC responded to a perceived business demand by creating a one-year mechatronics program and making a push to link students and graduates of its high-tech manufacturing programs to companies having problems finding skilled workers. Mechatronics graduates become qualified to install, maintain, modify and repair automated, "intelligent" machinery used in manufacturing.