-  Harper College, a community college located in Palatine, Illinois, announced the launch of an Advanced Manufacturing program. President Ken Ender, who overlooks the college of nearly 26,000 students, introduced the program which will include partnerships with over 50 manufacturing firms. The announcement came on Wednesday at Acme Industries in Elk Grove Village.

The program will provide students with paid internships at manufacturing firms throughout the state of Illinois. The goal of the initiative is to work towards filling the near 80,000 vacant manufacturing jobs in the state alone. The Manufacturing Institute states that there are nearly 600,000 open manufacturing jobs nationwide.

"This is a national problem," Ender said. "It's not just a problem in the northwest suburbs or a problem in Illinois. But we need local solutions."

Ender believes that one major advantage of the program is the real life experience that students will gain during their time on the floor. This is an exciting program for Harper College, one that will place students on the right paths towards manufacturing careers.

To learn more about the program and Harper’s manufacturing education programs, click here.

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