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Area manufacturers to open doors for career showcase

GRANITE CITY – Advanced manufacturing programs at Southwestern Illinois College have jumped 50 percent in the last year, and skilled workers are in high demand by manufacturers in the Metro East.

The college and six area manufacturers will open their doors for a Manufacturing Day Open House, Oct. 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., to showcase new technology, educational programs, career opportunities, products and services.

The event is free to the public.

Manufacturers offering tours include: Abengoa, Arizon Structures, John Sakash Co., Illinois Electric Works, SunCoke Energy and U.S. Steel Granite City Works.

“The St. Louis area is one of the largest manufacturing hubs in the country,” said SWIC Technical Education Dean Brad Sparks. “From handmade to high-tech is the theme of this event and it reflects the innovation of our college and of regional industry.”

The SWIC Sam Wolf Granite City Campus, 4950 Maryville Road, will serve as the event hub for the day.

People can tour the newly renovated Precision Machining Technology, Electrical/Electronics and Welding labs and see first-hand how cutting-edge computerized machining, robotic welding and 3-D printing equipment are changing technical education and manufacturing.

They can also, test their skills with a virtual welder and talk with more than 20 area manufacturers who will display products and capabilities.

Following these activities, tour buses depart from the SWIC campus for the manufacturing facilities.

“We want students and the community to see the modern technology used by today’s manufacturers,” said retired Ehrhardt Tool & Machine President Bob Roseman. “These are high-quality professions that require skill and proficiency with high-tech equipment.”
The event is presented in partnership with the IMEC – Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, the Southwestern Madison County Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The development of the SWIC advanced manufacturing programs was made possible, in part, by two rounds of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants totaling nearly $2 million.

For additional information, an industry tour schedule and industry tour safety requirements, visit or call the SWIC Technical Education Division at (618) 931-0600, ext. 7476.

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