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CSSI: Illinois’ Strategic Skills Initiative precursor delivers $3.1 million in funds to Chicagoland June 9, 2006

Posted by Tom in Economic Development, Education, Innovation, Workforce.
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The Innovating Indiana Strategic Skills Initiative was preceded by the Advancing Illinois Critical Skills Shortage Initiative (CSSI), a program that continues to develop innovative partnerships and workforce programming to boost the Illinois economy.

The State of Illinois announced another round of CSSI awards, this time $3.1 million to over 20 different partnership coordinators:

The Governor also announced more than $3.1 million in Opportunity Returns funding to help meet projected shortages in the manufacturing and transportation, logistics and warehousing sectors in Northeast Illinois through the Critical Skills Shortage Initiative (CSSI), a nationally-recognized job training program, which is being replicated in Indiana and has been recognized by the US Department of Labor. CSSI has been lauded as a model for helping people on a regional basis learn the skills they need to get ahead across Illinois.

Over the next four years, Northeast Illinois is expected to face annual shortages of more than 4,100 workers in high demand areas in manufacturing, which, if left unfilled, will present major challenges to the region’s economic vitality. Through an unprecedented network of partnerships, the Governor’s Critical Skills Shortage Initiative builds strong "pipelines" of qualified workers for key industry sectors, so that the employer needs of tomorrow are already being met with targeted training programs today. As a result of this investment, more than 1,000 workers will be trained to enter or advance in the local workforce.

There is a new manufacturing industry emerging that is driven by innovation and advancements in technology, budding with well-paying job opportunities, and as vital to keeping the wheels of economic growth in motion in Illinois today as ever before.

As in manufacturing, the transportation, logistics and warehousing sectors are all facing major projected shortages in skilled labor in the coming years. Over the next four years, Northeast Illinois is expected to face annual shortages of more than 7,300 workers in these high demand areas. As a result of this investment, almost 900 workers will be trained to enter or advance in the local workforce.

It's a fascinating collection of solutions that work together to build up the workforce….and, by extension, the local economy.

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