Keeping manufacturing jobs in the Tri-States a priority - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Keeping manufacturing jobs in the Tri-States a priority

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Local leaders held press conference to celebrate Manufacturing Day Local leaders held press conference to celebrate Manufacturing Day
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

More than 22 percent of jobs in Adams County are manufacturing jobs, according to local officials. On Tuesday, city leaders and manufacturers kicked-off manufacturers month to highlight the importance of the industry in the Tri-States.

Logan Steinmann has been making walk-in coolers at Craig Industries for three years. He also goes to school at John Wood Community College, trying to figure out if manufacturing is right for him.

"I am more of a hands on person, so just a few weeks after I started here, I realized it was a good experience," Steinmann said. "Starting off, it was just a job, but I've actually really grown to enjoy the company."

But, employers said workers like Steinmann are hard to find. Craig Industries Vice President Joshua Craig said part of the reason for fewer workers is the stigma of manufacturing jobs.

"It's not like what most people think of the day in, day out piece work," Craig said. "What we do is a lot more custom. You are doing different things everyday. It's not a repetitive nature. I think a lot of people have got a bad mindset towards manufacturing."

That's why city leaders want to partner with local schools, like John Wood Community College, to properly train and grow interest among students.

"We want to instill in students that manufacturing isn't this dead end type job, Great River Economic Development Foundation President Marcel Wagner said. "There's opportunities for students to not only to go to work but to advance, to get training, to get education."

Steinmann said he's seen first hand what kind of opportunities there is for him once he finishes school.

"My supervisor - when he's gone, I help him out and handle all of the guys in the department," Steinmann said. "I actually enjoyed that myself, so that's probably the reason why I switched my major to business management."

The Great River Economic Development Foundation will host its Tri-State MakerFest on Oct. 18 at the Oakley Lindsey Center in Quincy. Students there will be able to interact one-on-one with Tri-State Manufacturers.
 

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