Report: Workers without ‘middle skills’ the biggest obstacle facing Rockford manufacturing industry

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A new report is recommending how to fill manufacturing “middle skills” jobs in Rockford.

“Middle skill” jobs require workers with more than a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree.

Local organizations and colleges, including the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, released the “Coordinated Workforce Report” on Friday.

The report is a regional analysis of things such as unemployment, education, and hiring trends.

One of the recommendations in the report is that Rockford move forward with an advanced technology center to train workers.

“We’re looking for individuals to be able to build. So we really appreciate the stackable credentials that allow individuals to step out, gain employment and come back and build upon that and progress throughout their careers,” said Dr. Lisa Bly, Executive Director of the Workforce Connection.

The report says about a third of local manufacturing jobs, and more than half of all stateline-area jobs, require “middle skills.”

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