High school students explore high-demand careers through ECC's Manufacturing Camp

  • Tags: Events
Published 07/23/2018
Welding instructor Marc Houchek demonstrates to students

Elgin Community College held its first session of Manufacturing Camp, a new full-day summer camp for students ages 14 to 16, as part of its Kids’ College offerings, on July 16 to 19. The camp took place in the college’s Building O facilities, at 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, where students learned about careers in manufacturing and gained hands-on experience in computer aided design (CAD), welding and sheet metal cutting.

The president and CEO of the Fabricators and Manufacturing Association (FMA), Ed Youdell, visited the camp on Wednesday, July 18 to speak with the students. ECC President David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM and City of Elgin Mayor David Kaptain spoke to students about the growing demand for skilled [manufacturing] labor in the area.

When asked what they enjoyed most about the experience, students agreed that exploring new career skills and working with their hands was their favorite part. Several students expressed interest in ECC’s programs through the Tech Prep dual enrollment program or as future ECC students.

The camp was taught by experienced and certified ECC faculty members Marc Hucek, assistant professor of welding; Christopher Sikora, assistant professor of computer aided design; and Michael Marin, integrated systems adjunct faculty member.

Funding for Manufacturing Camp was made possible by a grant from FMA’s foundation Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs® (NBT).

“Through grants that support manufacturing camps for young adults and scholarship opportunities for those interested in exploring careers in manufacturing, NBT encourages the workforce leaders of tomorrow to pursue a well-paying, in-demand job in the skilled trades,” said NBT Senior Manager Cindy Day, CAE. “It’s exciting to partner with ECC and other schools across the country in our shared efforts to inspire and influence the next generation of manufacturers.”

ECC offers two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees in many high-demand fields, including industrial manufacturing technology, computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), welding fabrication technology and computer aided design. Basic and vocational certificates in different aspects of computer aided design, welding and manufacturing are also available and can typically be completed in one year.

Visit elgin.edu/careertech to view a list of ECC’s career and technical degrees and certificate options. Interested students are urged to apply now for the fall semester; classes begin on Monday, Aug. 20. Visit https://bit.ly/2v4FgO9 today.