Workforce development is a challenge for many industries, but those in the manufacturing industry say there’s both a skills gap and an interest gap.
Despite that, statistics show that the industry remains strong.
Across the United States, manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December, for a total of 284,000 for the year.
In Illinois, the industry shed 600 jobs, but compared to December 2017, there are 53,000 more manufacturing jobs now.
The industry is still strong in the Rockford area, which includes Boone and Winnebago Counties.
In November 2018, local manufacturers added 200 jobs, with the total of 900 higher than the previous year, a nearly 3% increase.