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Coordinator aims to grow local industrial work force

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 10:23 a.m. CDT

The DeKalb-Ogle Workforce Development Consortium has hired Gene Fogle as its industrial work force coordinator. The consortium addresses work force development needs and opportunities in the DeKalb-Ogle county area. It is the area’s major industries, economic development entities and educators working together to create the work force of tomorrow and beyond.

“This is the first time in my memory,” DeKalb County Economic Development corporation Paul Borek said, “that DeKalb and Ogle counties have worked together to address a common challenge.”

The Industrial Workforce Coordination Pilot Program emerged from two work force 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 website which connects students and employers.

The pilot program hopes to show students what types of industrial careers are available, teach them the required skills, provide them with workplace experience, and 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.”

Industry provides stability to area employment and strengthens the tax base, and education provides employees to industry. Rochelle Township High School Superintendent Jamie Craven said this program will have a positive impact on the work force as well as the students.

“Without a doubt, providing the area’s industry with a quality work force is a goal for our district,” Craven said. “This program will enable our students to relate to the jobs that are available after graduation and prepare appropriately.”

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