DEKALB (WIFR) -- The DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Consortium has hired Gene Fogle as their Industrial Workforce Coordinator. The consortium is an organization, built in partnership, to address workforce development needs and opportunities in our area. It combines the areas’ major industries, economic development entities and educators working together to create the workforce of tomorrow and beyond. DCEDC Executive Director Paul Borek noted that aside from the recently launched Kish CareerLink, this program forges a new partnership.
“This is the first time in my memory,” said Borek, “that DeKalb and Ogle counties have worked together to address a common challenge.”
The Industrial Workforce Coordination Pilot Program emerged from two workforce summits convened to determine how to best contribute to industrial growth and student career development. DeKalb and Ogle County interests were already collaborating on Kish CareerLink, an interactive web site, which connects students and employers.
The pilot program hopes to show students what types of industrial careers are available to teach them the required skills, provide them with workplace experience, and to clarify how qualified and motivated individuals can attain careers in advanced manufacturing and industry that are financially rewarding and satisfy the need for accomplishment.
“This is a program without a lot of precedent,” said Dave Juday, Chairman of IDEAL INDUSTRIES. “It represents an exciting opportunity for industry and educators to impact the future of our students, our companies and our communities.”
While educators have been besieged by government mandates, there is some logic in working toward the industrial strengths of our communities. Industry provides stability to area employment and strength to our tax base, while education provides employees to industry. Jamie Craven, Superintendent of the Rochelle Township High School District thinks this program will have a positive impact on the workforce as well as the students.
“Without a doubt, providing the areas’ industry with a quality workforce is a goal for our district,” said Craven. “This program will enable our students to relate to the jobs that are available after graduation and prepare appropriately.”
“DCEDC will secure funding for the project so that our partners in education and industry can focus on initiating the program in time for the beginning of the school year this fall,” says Juday. Unlike public programs that become inflexible and unmanageable, this pilot program can be built to meet the needs of our communities. Each community is different, but each community can relate to the need for a qualified workforce.
“We are pleased that Gene Fogle has joined the DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Consortium.” Jason Anderson, Director of the Greater Rochelle Economic Development Corporation said. “The DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Corporation is a public/private partnership between GREDCO, DCEDC, area industries, the City of Rochelle, Kishwaukee College and local high schools.”