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Workshop Focuses on Workforce, DEI and Talent Acquisition For Will County Manufacturing Excellence

Workshop Group

Breakfast brought industry partners together sharing best practices.

The Will County CED has aligned with IMEC (Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center) and Joliet Junior College to present the first in a series of workshops aimed at supporting Will County manufacturers looking to grow, plan, improve, and lead.

Our first workshop featured networking, roundtable conversations and engaging panel discussions among diverse manufacturers from throughout Will County expertly moderated by Paola Velasquez, Director of DEI in Manufacturing with IMEC. Participating panelists represented G&W Electric Company, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation, ExxonMobil, Integrity Manufacturing Inc., National Tube Supply Company, and The Lion Electric Company. We thank them for their valuable insight and candidness.

“Will County’s strong growth in manufacturing and attractiveness as a place for new industry is due to our location, infrastructure, strong pro-business communities and quality workforce.” said Will County Executive, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

IMEC Illinois President Dave Boulay expressed how the strong partnerships that exist among organizations in attendance including Joliet Junior College, The Workforce Board of Will County, The Will County Center for Economic Development, elected officials, and many others, create a phenomenal ecosystem that make events such as today happen.

“We are all here today to bring focus to the dialogue around how we continually improve and compete. I am excited about the conversations today as we all look to powering the workforce, thinking about expanding talent pipelines and thinking about a more inclusive culture.”

Joliet Junior College President Dr. Clyne Namuo, shared Joliet Junior College’s pride in its many strategic partnerships within the manufacturing community, many partners in attendance. He cited the College’s numerous non-credit continuing education opportunities delivered through its Corporate and Community Services programming.

Joliet Junior College serves thousands of students in manufacturing-related programs each year and last year completed 364 credentials offered in manufacturing–related programs. These completions happen due to a concerted effort to support the work done in the industries represented at this workshop.

Senator Meg Cappel offered brief remarks underscoring her commitment to bettering Will County’s manufacturing industry and building on its strong foundation in a collaborative way.

The Will County Center for Economic Development looks forward to our next workshop in the series scheduled for October. Any Will County manufacturer is welcome to join us as we work together to empower this industry in Will County and drive it to new heights of excellence. Event and program information can be found on our website under “Programs & Events” or email us us to make sure you get an invitation.

“Participating in the workshop was a great experience. Everyone did a fantastic job putting the event together and moderating the discussion. It was very helpful and insightful to hear all of the different ways companies are working to overcome the same challenges and also share the great work we are doing at G&W Electric as well. Thank you for the opportunity and look forward to the next event!”

Anthony Matteucci

Global Talent Acquisition Manager, G&W Electric Company, Bolingbrook

“I loved being able to share insights and our efforts in recruiting, retention, and development and I also received so many great recommendations, best practices and innovative ideas that I will certainly bring to our organization.”

Ashley Trost

Director of People and Culture, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation

“It was wonderful to see so many workforce development, educational, political and industrial professionals come together to hear about the challenges and success of manufacturers regarding workforce recruitment, onboarding and retention.” 

Kraig Kistinger

Director of Human Resources, National Tube Supply