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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Joan Olson 630-407-6015

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DuPage County Honors Local Manufacturers for Their Contribution to Youth Employment Program

DuPage County hosted an Employer Recognition Dinner on Wednesday, Aug. 27, to honor local manufacturers for their contributions to DuPage’s youth employment initiative, the Make Your Way (MYWay) in Manufacturing program.

The MYWay program provides a pipeline of newly-trained workers to local manufacturers who need to find skilled labor at a time when the workforce is maturing and employees are retiring. At the same time, the program assists eligible DuPage County youth, ages 18 to 21, who are interested in training and a career in the manufacturing field.

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said the event is the centerpiece of DuPage County’s celebration of Workforce Development Week.

“This program demonstrates why DuPage County is such a great place for businesses to locate. It is the true definition of a public/private partnership that demonstrates tangible results and grows our economy,” said Cronin.

To date, 25 DuPage companies have participated in the MYWay program. Eleven young adults completed manufacturing internships, and five of those became full-time employees at manufacturing companies in DuPage County. Another three participants have gone on to further education or training.

At the event, Michael Keller of American Precision Electronics, Inc. in Carol Stream, discussed his experience working with the trainees.

“The partnership is tremendous and the two interns I have working for me are doing a great job. I spend as much time as I can with them. I look forward to further opportunities,” said Keller.

Funding for the event was provided by Wheaton Bank & Trust Company, Choose DuPage and the DuPage Workforce Board.

About the MYWay Program

The MYWay program is a 10-week course that includes four weeks of classroom training, featuring resume preparation, practice job interviews, guest presentations from employers, tours of local manufacturing facilities and OSHA safety certification. The program culminates in a six-week paid internship at a local company, where the candidates gain hands-on experience performing typical manufacturing duties. The goal of the program is to assist the participants as they work toward full-time employment with local manufacturers, or into further education or technical training for careers in manufacturing.