ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A program at Rock Valley College will make Rockford one of only four places in the world to offer a certain kind of training.
Brad Baker is a regular in his industry. He’s the plant manager at Slidematic, a cold pressing plant that makes everything we need to literally hold our lives together, from screws to nuts and any size of bolt imaginable.
Slidematic has been in Brad’s family for as long as he can remember, but businesses like his are struggling to find new blood to join their workforce.
“In the next 10-15 years if we don’t get younger people in here, there’s going to be a serious problem,” says Baker.
That’s why Rock Valley College is starting a new cold press training program.
Slidematic isn’t the only manufacturer who is hurting. With only three training centers in cold pressing around the entire world, Rock Valley College’s new program meets a huge need.
Those other three centers are in California, Japan, and Germany, and starting this spring there will be one in Rockford.
Students will be able to train on their very own cold press.
“These are good jobs, they’re sustainable,” says Baker.
Even though it may not be the most glamorous job there is, Brad says the new training center will open the door for many young people to join an industry that doesn’t quite get the recognition it deserves.
Once students complete the program, they are immediately ready for the work force.