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NEXT50 to Showcase Manufacturing and Logistics Jobs

Press release issued by Kankakee Community College, celebrating its 50th year of operations in 2016

KANKAKEE, IL – November 15, 2016 – NEXT50 Open House and Expo is happening Dec. 2 from 4-7p.m. at Kankakee Community College’s Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center. It’s free and open to the public. High school students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors are highly encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served, including Johnsonville brats.

At the event, more than 15 local manufacturing and logistics companies will share information about their products, job trends, training opportunities and wage scales. KCC’s industrial training specialists will discuss training options and college programs, and attendees will have the chance to win prizes, including two Apple iPad Air 2s.

“Job seekers do not need to travel far to find employers at the forefront of technology,” explained Mark Anderson, KCC Director of Manufacturing Training. “We are excited for the next 50 years of manufacturing and logistics expansion and related employment opportunities in Kankakee County.

“NEXT50 is a great opportunity for local students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and the general public to explore these growing industries,” continued Anderson, “and the world-class companies that are here locally securing a skilled and ready workforce.”

 “Our local manufacturing and logistics sectors continue to evolve, and there is an abundance of related job opportunities in the area,” said Lisa Wogan, director of Marketing and Business Attraction at the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. “This event will raise awareness about the tremendous innovation and growth happening in our own backyard.

“Kankakee County’s general jobs growth is one of several positive economic indicators,” Wogan continued. “Unemployment has fallen from 14 percent in 2010 to 6.1 percent in August, export growth is up 74 percent from 2014 to 2015, skilled job growth is up 8 percent from 2011 to 2015, and gross domestic product growth is up from $3.3 billion in 2010 to $3.9 billion last year.”

For 18 consecutive months, approximately 3,000 job postings have been published by Kankakee County employers, according to Economic Modeling Specialists International. Many of these available positions are within the rapidly evolving manufacturing and logistics sectors. As of October, full-time employee counts for Kankakee County’s top 60 manufacturers, logistics firms and institutions showed total growth of 200 jobs.

KCC’s MITC is located south of downtown Kankakee at 2580 S. Route 45/52, or take Interstate 57 to Exit 308 and follow the signs. Directions are online at www.kcc.edu/directions.

For more information about the event, contact Mark Anderson, KCC Director of Manufacturing Training, at 815.802.8873 or manderson@kcc.edu.

NEXT50 was created through a partnership of Kankakee Community College and the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County, with sponsorship from the Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce, the Manteno Chamber of Commerce, and Johnsonville and Plochman’s Mustard.

The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base within the Greater Chicago community of Kankakee County, Illinois. Working under Kankakee County’s 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.

Kankakee Community College is an accredited two-year college which awards associate degrees and certificates of completion. KCC prepares students both to transfer to four-year colleges and to enter the workforce. The college also offers continuing education courses and certification training, literacy programs, English as a Second Language and GED preparation. The KCC mission is “Enhancing quality of life through learning.” The college has a Riverfront Campus in Kankakee, South Extension Center in Watseka, North Extension Center in Bradley and Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center in Kankakee.