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Friday, October 02, 2015
New “Opportunity 3000” Awareness Campaign Promotes Paths to Career Success in Kankakee County

KANKAKEE, IL – October 2, 2015 – In conjunction with National Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month in Illinois, a new awareness video and campaign were launched today to highlight 3,000 local job postings and to support workforce development in Kankakee County. Central to the campaign is an 8-minute video showcasing via interviews and statistics the vitality of the local manufacturing, logistics and health care sectors. Special attention is paid to Kankakee County's plentiful job opportunities, skillsets required in the new and thriving Knowledge Economy, and associated career pathways.
The video "Opportunity 3000: Career Success in Kankakee County" can be viewed at
The public awareness campaign is being led by the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, Coalition for Hope & Excellence in Education (CHEE), Kankakee Community College, Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley.
"In May of this year, we were thrilled to discover that there were 3,000 open positions within Kankakee County, many of which with starting salaries of $50,000 to $70,000," explains Dr. Susan Emmerich, CHEE Executive Director. "At that point, it was clear that we needed to really boost our marketing efforts to ensure that job seekers, students, parents, teachers, counselors and community leaders understand, one, the significant career opportunities that exist here and, two, the actions absolutely required to secure positions like this now and into the future."
In the video, leading local employers CSL Behring, Dow Chemical, Sears Logistics, Shoup Manufacturing, Riverside Healthcare and Presence St. Mary's Hospital reinforce the nationwide challenge facing all sectors in hiring talent with the requisite practical and technical skills. Local resources including KCC's Manufacturing & Industrial Technology Center, the Kankakee Area Career Center, ONU's Walker School of Engineering and Catalyst Innovation Center, robotics and STEM programming, and internships and job shadowing opportunities are introduced.
The "Opportunity 3000" public awareness campaign will continue through the month of October, which has been declared Manufacturing Month in the State of Illinois, and beyond by the CHEE and its partners. Join the conversation on Facebook at and learn more at
National Manufacturing Day – this year Friday, October 2 – addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is and what it is not. The event empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive. More than 2,000 events are planned across the United States on October 2 to mark Manufacturing Day. For more, visit
A collaborative initiative directed by Dr. Emmerich and chaired by KCC President Dr. John Avendano, the CHEE is tasked with preparing a college and career-ready workforce to meet employment needs in Kankakee County by increasing student persistence and graduation rates. This workforce imperative was identified and codified as a high priority in Kankakee County's 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which was certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration in April 2014. The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County and Community Foundation of Kankakee River Valley administer the CHEE. Inquiries about the initiative may be directed to Dr. Emmerich, or 708.717.4648.
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area is currently ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois by global economic think tank the Milken Institute in its Best-Performing Cities index, which measures economic vitality vis-à-vis growth in jobs, wages, salaries and technology output. For more information, visit or phone 815.935.1177.