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Joliet Junior College to host career fair for manufacturing jobs

Kurt Nelsis instrucitng Halee Pakosz layout area. htis is where students learn leayoug scribe lines their parts machine scribe marks.

Kurt Nelson is instrucitng Halee Pakosz in the layout area. htis is where students learn to leayoug scribe lines on their parts and machine to the scribe marks. It's less than precise machining, but something that is odne in all shops for parts without close tolerances. Halee is a former JJC student who graduated with her A.A.S. degree in Precision Machine Technology (she now is pursuing her Bachelor's Degree at Purdue University Calumet Campus). SUBMITTED PHOTO

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If you go

What: Joliet Junior College Skilled Trades Career Day

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday

Where: Joliet Junior College, T Building on Main Campus, 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet

Information: Call Layton Cooper at (815) 280-2762 or lcooper@jjc.edu

Updated: December 30, 2012 3:48PM



Job seekers: Are you mechanically or technically skilled? Do you have experience in manufacturing or industrial environments? Are you trained to use electrical equipment and a variety of other tools?

Then Joliet Junior College has the career fair for you.

On Thursday, JJC will host its first skilled trades career day. The event partners the school’s technical department, Illinois Department of Employment Security, National Able Network (military-to-civilian employment program), alumni relations, workforce services and local high schools to bring together skilled workers with the employers who need them.

The skilled trades career day is not simply another networking event, said Layton Cooper, employer relations coordinator at the college.

“There will be companies here that day looking to hire people,” Cooper said. “We want to help workers and employers make those connections.”

The career fair is the result of a meeting between Cooper and an employer in the manufacturing field. The employer shared with Cooper the high demand in his field for laborers skilled in the manufacturing industry and how that need will increase as older workers retire.

“He said that most of the job fairs he attends did not have qualified candidates,” Cooper said. “So we brainstormed and decided to have an actual event to bring together workers skilled in trades such as manufacturing, industrial maintenance and machining with employers.”

Represented that day will be companies seeking everything from assemblers, machinists, machine operators, maintenance technicians, welders, programmers and a variety of manufacturing support positions.

That could include buyers, production control specialists, estimators and accountants. And Cooper said JJC offers a variety of programs that can train students for many of these types of jobs.

At the same time, Cooper is hoping the skilled trades career day will begin to expand the types of job fields students might consider. Several decades ago, many young people shrugged off occupations in the skilled trades as “something Dad or Grandpa might choose.”

“We want to change that lens and remove the stigma,” Cooper said. “We want them to know that they don’t have to be a doctor or lawyer to have a satisfying career, make a nice wage with benefits and live a comfortable life.”



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