County leaders discuss how to expand workforce development - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

County leaders discuss how to expand workforce development

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Marcel Wagner is president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation. Marcel Wagner is president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation.
Marcel Wagner speaks at GREDF's annual meeting at the Oakley Lindsay Center. Marcel Wagner speaks at GREDF's annual meeting at the Oakley Lindsay Center.
The crowd for GREDF's annual meeting consisted of city and county business leaders. The crowd for GREDF's annual meeting consisted of city and county business leaders.
Workforce development in Adams County was a topic of discussion. Workforce development in Adams County was a topic of discussion.
The President of Intersect Illinois, Mark Peterson, was a guest speaker at GREDF's annual meeting. The President of Intersect Illinois, Mark Peterson, was a guest speaker at GREDF's annual meeting.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

There are jobs to be had in Adams County, that's the message as county leaders gathered for the Great River Economic Development Foundation's annual meeting on Wednesday night.

Last year's Makerfest in Quincy gave some 300 high school students the opportunity to speak directly with local employers. It's events like this, that bring visibility of the companies to the community. 

Marcel Wagner is the president of GREDF and spoke at their annual meeting Wednesday night. He hopes to expand the Makerfest program in 2018. 

"We will have healthcare," said Wagner. "We will have the fire sector. We will manufacturing. We will have logistics. It will be a much broader event."

Wagner says including as many employers as possible is what's going to expand the job force here in Adams County.

Also speaking at Wednesday's meeting was Mark Peterson, president of Intersect Illinois. 

"We can get to the south," said Peterson. "We can get to the north. We can get to the west and to the east easily and move products cost effectively. That's a real opportunity for a place like Quincy."

Peterson says Quincy's location makes it a desirable place for businesses to not only stay but to relocate here as well. 

"We have great assets," said Peterson. "We have a great workforce."

"Between the public and private projects that are going on there's $200-million worth of construction going on in this community right now," said Wagner. "It's unprecedented."

The jobs that are out there right now are very different than five or ten years ago, especially with the introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence. 

Last year GREDF launched the Work Readiness Certification Process to help people prepare for job placement. 

Those who successfully complete that program are guaranteed an interview with one of several major industries in Adams County.

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