Lake County Employers Look To Lure Local Engineering Talent After College

The Lake County Workforce Ecosystem, led by Lake County Partners, the College of Lake County and the Lake County Workforce Development Department, hosted its fourth annual Lake County Engineering Internship and Job Fair at the College of Lake County on January 3rd. More than 250 engineering students from schools across the country connected with 20 top employers in Lake County, who are looking to attract the next generation of talent.

"The Midwest is home to a high concentration of nationally-recognized engineering programs, and we are developing some of the top talent in the country," said Kevin Considine, president and CEO of Lake County Partners. "Our goal with events such as the Engineering Internship and Job Fair is to help students access the wide variety of career paths available right here in Lake County. We want these talented homegrown engineers to connect with jobs at Lake County companies that are driving local innovation and economic growth."

"People may not realize it, but there is a huge pipeline of engineering talent that starts right here in Lake County," said Dr. Sylvia Johnson Jones, Executive Director for the Career and Job Placement Center at the College of Lake County. "The College of Lake County's Engineering Program has guaranteed transfer agreements with top programs across the region, and articulation agreements with schools across the country like Purdue, Michigan Tech, and Arizona State. Local firms are in need of technical employees, and the Engineering Internship and Job Fair helps bridge the gap to engineering students-many of which are getting their start right here at CLC."

Engineers of all backgrounds will find themselves a home in Illinois, which ranks as the 3rd largest manufacturing state in the nation with 587,930 employees in the manufacturing sector across the state. In Lake County, more than one in seven jobs is in the manufacturing sector. Attendees at the fair had the opportunity to interview with leading innovators in Med-tech, Automation, Biopharma, Precision Manufacturing and more. "Rather than travelling all over to hunt down young engineers who are interested in moving to Lake County, this fair allows us to find folks who already have ties here, and who want to build their careers here," said Robyn Safron, Senior Human Resources Manager at HydraForce. "Over the last few years we have hired a great crop of interns out of this event and have been able to convert several into full-time hires once they finished school. It's a great source of new talent for us."

Madden Plante from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Chemical Engineering major, took advantage of the fair, viewing it as an opportunity to easily connect with a large number of employers to explore career paths and discover job opportunities that may be available next summer. "I was able to meet with lots of different kinds of companies in one place at one time, and since I'm on break from school, I didn't have to worry about fitting it into my class schedule. Coming today already puts me ahead of my peers in terms of finding an internship. I will definitely plan to attend again next year as I get closer to graduation."

Lake County businesses participating in the fair included HydraForce, Flexan, Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Vantage Specialty Chemicals, AL Hansen Manufacturing Company, Brake Parts, Deigan and Associates, Esscoe, Jessup Manufacturing Company, Lake County Government, Maclean-Fogg, Matthews Professional Employment, MBX Systems, Medical Murray, Packaging Corporation of America, Simon Hegele Healthcare Solutions, Specified Components Company, Weaver Consultants Group, and Wes-Tech Automation Solutions.

About Lake County Partners

Lake County Partners is a 501(c)(3) economic development corporation that works to maintain economic vitality in Lake County, Illinois by creating and retaining quality jobs, stimulating capital investment, and pursuing economic diversity. Lake County promises businesses a highly-educated workforce, beautiful and diverse recreational areas, a gateway to global markets, the right balance between work and play, top-ranking schools nationwide, world-class healthcare in your backyard, global industry leaders, and a first-rate quality of life.

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