Employers search for qualified workers at Rock Valley job fair

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) ─ Rockford students, with a fresh new set of skills, look for their future career path. They are part of the solution to a shortage of qualified workers.

More than a dozen companies turned out, most of them from Rockford, for a Thursday evening job fair at Rock Valley College’s Stenstrom Center, 4151 Samuelson Road. A few were from as far away as Alabama and St. Louis.

It is part of the Workforce Equity Initiative. The program is geared towards helping minority workers get the training they need to get hired.

Rock Valley College is one of only a handful of schools in the State of Illinois picked to participate.

Students get help with tuition and other expenses, while learning skills like CNC operation, cold forming, welding, and truck driving.

“To have somebody that’s supporting you along the way was really great for me,” said Rock Valley WEI student Khiya Williams. “The help with the child support, a lot of times you have to worry about those things on your own. So, the fact that I actually got help doing that was amazing.”

The first group of students just graduated.

“We have 46 students who are completing those 4 programs, along with more students coming in,” said Rock Valley Vice President of Workforce Development Chris Lewis. “Our goal is, by the end of September, to put another 100 students in. We’re changing lives with these programs and we’re making a difference in this community.”

Rock Valley is now accepting applications for the program.

You can find more information here.

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