Manufacturing is an incredibly large piece of Rockford’s past. Despite steady news of jobs being off-shored, many organizations are working to make sure manufacturing is also the future of the Rock River Valley.
“If I bring somebody in that is green, it could be five years before these people are at a productive level where they can actually make you money running the machine tool,” according to Dial Machine co-owner Jeff Anderberg.
But the Rockford school district wants to change that, turning high school kids with few skills into educated, knowledgeable adults, with a solid foundation in manufacturing processes.
The superintendent of Rockford Schools believes a new school preparing students with technical skill will be a big part of Rockford’s educational puzzle. Included in that puzzle will be learning the basics like blueprint reading, and trigonometry.
Taught in hands on classrooms and through internships, students who master the nuts and bolts of manufacturing will then be ready for the next step. They can earn college credit, accelerating their potential.
Introducing students to the opportunities that manufacturing can present should be a win-win situation, filling the minds and wallets of young workers while providing Rockford and the surrounding communities with a skilled workforce.