Manufacturing career expo planned

J Burt, Dr. Conrad Spirrison and DeAnna Carlson, members of the North Central Illinois Discover Manufacturing Career Expo, discuss details of the upcoming expo on Oct. 23. Patricia Walters, a member of the outreach team, is absent from the photo.

Article originally published in the LaSalle News Tribune, August 22, 2013

The North Central Illinois Discover Manufacturing Career Expo will be held on Oct. 23.

Plant tours will be held at LCN in Princeton; Black Bros. in Mendota; Vactor in Streator; MBL in Ottawa; Carus Chemical in LaSalle; and Eakas in Peru from 9 to 10:45 a.m.

Students, dignitaries and invited guests will be at Celebrations 150 on Route 6 east of Utica from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with the general public invited from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
 Keynote speaker will be Daniel Janka, president of MAG-IAS.

Jerry Corcoran, president at Illinois Valley Community College, recounted the origin of North Central Illinois Discover Manufacturing Career Expo.

“After visiting the Peoria Manufacturing Expo last year with a number of our colleagues, I am convinced that replicating the Expo in IVCC’s eight-county district is a wonderful idea,” he said.

Since that time, North Central Regional Betterment Coalition (NCRBC) and its partners, Carus Corporation, IVCC, Starved Rock Association for Vocational & Technical Education (SRAVTE) and NCI-Works have been planning the Oct. 23 premiere of this region’s Discover Manufacturing Career Expo.

“The program is very forward-looking,” said Patricia Walters, Expo Committee chairman. “It begins in the classroom with students conducting research on local manufacturers and learning business etiquette in preparation for the Expo.”

Carus Corporation serves as the group’s manufacturing champion, advocating the benefits of the Discover Manufacturing Career Expo program.

“It is important that industry partner with education to equip the next generation to make thoughtful choices in pursuit of career goals, said Judy Wierman, Carus Corporation Human Resources vice president. “The Manufacturing Expo does just that; it provides a forum for 300 high school students to explore a variety of career options, meet face-to-face with local employers and understand the educational and work-ready requirements needed to obtain employment and possible promotion in their field of interest.”

“There are still a limited number of booths available for manufacturers,” Walters said, “Please call on us if you would like have an in-person presentation on the value of event participation from our outreach team.”

LaSalle-Peru Township High School Superintendent Steve Wrobleski and SRAVTE Director Mary Stouffer are in charge of gaining participation from area high schools and student coordination of the event.

“It will be an enjoyable day for the students, as well as educational,” said Stouffer, “There will be a grand prize drawing for one lucky student to receive a free iPad and drawings for several other kid-friendly prizes.”

Current manufacturing participants are Carus-Corporation, LCN, Gardner-Denver, MBL, Black Bros., Washington-Mills, Eakas, Vactor and Transco.