By Mark Denzler, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of manufacturers everywhere saying, “Creators and Makers Wanted.” That’s because the manufacturing industry is booming — and we need your help.
There are nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs open in the U.S. These are some of the best-paying, most technologically advanced and exciting careers out there. That’s especially true in Illinois, which might be called the epicenter of manufacturing in the United States. A recent study found the total economic impact of manufacturing in Illinois is estimated to be between $580 billion and $611 billion annually — the largest share of state’s gross domestic product of any industry. Manufacturing directly employs 662,298 workers but ultimately supports as many as 1,771,928 jobs, generating up to $150 billion in labor income for Illinois residents annually.
In all, it’s estimated that the manufacturing industry supports nearly 30% of all jobs in Illinois, making it among the state’s largest industry sectors.
But one of manufacturers’ biggest challenges right now is finding qualified talent — which is why it’s a great time to apply. Modern manufacturing is a state-of-the-art industry that has room for everyone. No matter what your professional background (or whether you even have one, if you’re just starting out), modern manufacturing has a job that will play to your strengths and pique your interests.
We’re looking for people who want to be innovators, entrepreneurs, builders and dreamers. We’re looking for people who want to solve today’s challenges — and then solve tomorrow’s challenges, too. In short, we’re looking for creators and makers.
Read the full op-ed, published by the Chicago Sun Times.