CHAMPAIGN, ILL - Here in Central Illinois, there are plenty of career opportunities in the area of manufacturing. However, attracting qualified applicants can be a challenge. It is one reason why Parkland College is partnering with more than a dozen Central Illinois High Schools as part of the Early College and Career Academy.
The program is designed to give students interested in the field of manufacturing early exposure to high tech equipment, all while earning college credit. In an age when many high schools have reduced technical curriculum, and others are unable to expose students to modern manufacturing equipment, the program provides a unique opportunity.
"These are expensive programs to run, there is a lot of expensive equipment, a lot of expertise needed from the instructor. A lot of these programs we don't have enough students necessarily interested in one high school, but when we pool resources we can run full sections." Says ECCA Coordinator Nick Elder.
For students taking part in the program, it is a chance to get hands on exposure to high-tech manufacturing at an early age. For more information about eh ECCA program, you can visit their website.