Consider a Career in Manufacturing

By: Brandon Blagg
Edited by Lawndale Bilingual News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationDo you like computers and technology? Are you intrigued by the way things move and function? Are you creative? Do you like to work with your hands? Do you like to use your mind to solve problems? Do you want to earn a competitive wage and benefits? Do you want to avoid racking up thousands of dollars in student debt going to a 4-year university to earn a degree you might not even be able to benefit from? Look no further! A career in manufacturing may be exactly what you are looking for. In the summer of 2006, just after graduating high school, I accidentally stumbled across a job opening at a local manufacturing company. I was a young adult that just wanted to earn enough money to pay my cell phone bill and car insurance. Like most young adults, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Little did I know that the position I had accidentally acquired at this local machine shop would open my eyes up to a whole new world, full of excitement and opportunity, that I never even knew existed – and ultimately lead me to where I am today – the Instructor of Manufacturing Technology at Waubonsee Community college.

According to Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap. Nearly 80 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly-skilled production positions. What does this mean? This means that individuals pursuing a manufacturing career have a vast amount of opportunity! Every week, I personally hear manufacturing companies state their concerns in not being able to find skilled, knowledgeable applicants to fill positions at their plants, and they are willing to provide a very competitive wage to fill these positions. Any individual that becomes skilled in manufacturing and is willing to continue to grow and learn, will be invaluable and highly sought after – and compensation will follow. Due to the skills-gap and desperately high demand to fill skilled manufacturing positions, there has never been a better time to get into the manufacturing industry. Parents, counselors, high school teachers, and mentors need to open students’ eyes to the world of manufacturing and let them know it exists, and that it can provide them with fulfilling comfortable lives. To learn more, visit

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

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