A pair of Jacksonville area organizations are highlighting the impact of local manufacturers.
In recognition of National Manufacturing Day and Illinois Manufacturing Month, the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation (JREDC) are working together to illustrate the importance of manufacturing in the Jacksonville area throughout the month of October.
Kristin Jamison, President of JREDC says some 20 manufacturers call Morgan and Scott Counties home, providing an estimated 2,200 careers, as well as resources and support to their local communities.
Jamison says overall, the importance of promoting the high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs manufacturing offers American skilled workers cannot be understated.
“We realize that high-paying high-skilled jobs, some of which are going to be technologically based are going to be the norm in manufacturing. In the next decade, some 4.6 million jobs will be created in the manufacturing sector, so the more we can promote the importance of manufacturing the better so that we can continue to keep operations in Morgan and Scott County moving in the right direction.”
The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and JREDC recently distributed a survey to local manufacturers, and of those who responded, 100% continued operations throughout the pandemic.
Jamison says they believe that manufacturing has really been the unsung heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think COVID did open up new opportunities for work at home options for those positions that were able to do so. Obviously every manufacturer in Morgan and Scott Counties have different needs, and so all of them just really worked to figure out how to make things work for them in particular.
We know that these manufacturers contribute over two thousand jobs in our communities and for that we are just thrilled that they were working with their employees to be able to keep the doors open and keep a solid foundation of economic development.”
Jamison says Jacksonville-area manufacturers serve an important role in providing products to our region and beyond, but perhaps more significant are the career opportunities they provide.
She says while many businesses continue to struggle with maintaining employees during pandemic mitigation measures, several manufacturers in Morgan and Scott Counties continue to need workers and have positions they need to fill.
“If you run to the JREDC website at jredc.org, and the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce also has an employee opportunity page you’ll notice that we track as much as people send us the information, we are pushing it out there to let people know what opportunities are available. I know Nestle has a number of job opportunities and different manufacturers in the area are letting us know.
Nestle contributes quite a bit, and Pathway, even though they are not manufacturers but are one of our investors who keeps us posted on opportunities available in terms of careers. You know we like to make sure that people know about these job opportunities and we are able to help keep that workforce moving.”
Jamison says the Jacksonville Chamber and JREDC salute the innovation manufacturers have displayed during an uncertain time, as well as their dedication to area family, friends and neighbors.
To learn about employment opportunities in the area, go to jredc.org or jacksonville-area-chamer-dot-org