The Greater Chicago Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, better known as GCAMP, began co-hosting manufacturing breakfasts in conjunction with local high schools in 2018 as a way to turn tables for students and industry partners. Students visit industrial and manufacturing companies each year to learn more about exciting careers and how the industry creates everything we see, and touch. Rarely do our industry partners get the chance to see what students are creating every day in their CTE industrial and manufacturing lab space. Companies interested in hiring these smart and capable students for internships, apprenticeships, or employment, are given the opportunity to meet and hear from students about industry-relevant projects and classes that will lead them into their future careers. Companies will see the high-tech machines that schools are investing in to prepare students for careers in manufacturing and related industrial fields and connect with the CTE teachers.
On Thursday, May 12th, GCAMP co-hosted our latest manufacturing breakfast at West Aurora High School’s Weisner Center for Career Development. GCAMP with key partners at West Aurora High School, administrators, and CTE teachers, and under the direction of Cassie Blickem, EFE Director #130 for VALEES (Valley Education for Employment System) and her staff, the event was a great success. Cassie and her team had a great new addition to the breakfast in adding “mock” interviews for all graduating seniors. The “mock” feature gave the students the comfort of practice and took some of the pressure off, but also gave them a real opportunity, as most companies interviewing had real opportunities available for the right potential future employee.
- 40 West Aurora Weisner Center students were provided with 88 mock interviews.
- 20 Aurora and other local industrial/manufacturing companies in attendance.
- 36 company representatives
“Attending this event and participating in the mock interviewing led to us hiring 2 apprentices for our machining department. In giving back to the community, we got even more back for ourselves.” – Troy Waldherr, Tox Pressotechnik LLC
Announced at the May breakfast by Cassie Blickem is the exciting new “Internship Micro-Credential” program that VALEES has developed. Companies learn best practices around hiring and working with student interns. Once an industry partner completes the training program, they earn a badge to showcase their commitment to working with students and growing their future workforce.
For more information on this new program, please contact Josi Moran at VALEES firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the date: Tuesday, January 17, 2023, West Aurora College & Career Fair This is the region’s premier career fair drawing students from all high schools throughout the region. Over 700 students attended this event Details to follow in the coming months.