College of Lake County strengthens manufacturing workforce with new Advanced Technology Center
College of Lake County is creating a world-class Advanced Technology Center in Gurnee.
After evaluating the workforce and economic needs in Lake County, CLC developed plans for a center of advanced manufacturing excellence to provide industry-relevant career pathways in fall 2021.
"Manufacturing is the backbone of Lake County's economy and College of Lake County is committed to ensuring a skilled workforce talent pipeline exists to support industry needs and future growth opportunities," said CLC board of trustees chair William M. Griffin. "This will be accomplished through the expansion of short and long-term credentials, incumbent worker training and new program development that aligns with industry needs."
CLC President Lori Suddick said the college will engage its workforce ecosystem partners, including local manufacturers, vendors, workforce and economic development, as well as education and community agencies in the design and launch of the ATC.
"Together, we can make sure Lake County retains and attracts manufacturers because a highly skilled career and talent pipeline exists, ensuring every individual in Lake County has an opportunity for economic and social mobility through educational attainment and a rewarding career," she said. "The ATC will house state-of-the-art equipment to support programs designed for accelerated completion of coursework delivered by subject matter expert faculty that is aligned to industry needs."
Lake County is the second-largest manufacturing county in Illinois. Locally, manufacturing companies employ more than 50,700 people, generating $35.7 billion in economic output per year. But job growth is outpacing the number of skilled workers available and recent research from the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers shows the region can benefit from and is ready to invest in an ATC.
The ATC serves as the catalyst to propel Lake County further into the forefront of modern, global technologies through innovative workforce development initiatives. The ATC will become a focus of economic development for key opportunities including welding and computerized numeric control. Beyond bricks and mortar, the ATC operation is a conscious effort to bring together the resources of the college in business and industry outreach.
"Our students are excited to see this new opportunity coming," said Dean of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences Richard Ammon.