President of National Association of Manufacturers Visits PHS Program on National Tour

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District 211 students had the opportunity to introduce industry leaders to Palatine High School’s Manufacturing program, as well as demonstrate valuable skills they have learned that can help them secure a job after high school.

PHS Applied Technology Chair Mark Hibner (left) provides a program overview to NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons (right).

PHS Applied Technology Chair Mark Hibner (left) provides a program overview to NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons (right).

President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Jay Timmons and members of the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA) visited students at Palatine High School on Feb. 3 to discuss the importance of a career in manufacturing. PHS was the only high school program in the country the group toured.

“I am excited about this program and I have to say it is unique in the entire country,” Timmons said to students. “It is a model for other states and communities. You are going to be inventing the future and I want you to realize how exciting that is.”

Gabriella Alvarado speaks during a discussion about why she is interested in manufacturing and the PHS program.

PHS Junior Gabriela Alvarado speaks during a discussion about why she is interested in manufacturing and the PHS program.

Every February, Timmons releases a report on the State of Manufacturing in the United States.  He then takes a national tour to highlight the field and to point out innovative and promising programs of study that close the skills gap.  Representatives from NAM and IMA listened to an overview of the manufacturing program, including what skills students learn, what credentials they earn, and how these skills carry dual-credit with Harper College.

Students answered questions, including why they are interested in manufacturing and what excited them about it. After the discussion, they were able to demonstrate their skills on various machines.

Hugo Mora (left) shows Timmons (right) how to use one of the machines.

PHS Junior Hugo Mora (left) shows Timmons (right) skills he has learned while working on machines in the manufacturing lab.

“Something I have liked since freshman year is all the hands-on work because you think of a concept, you build it, and you make it work,” said Oleksiy Korniychuk, senior at Palatine High School. “It’s incredible to be able to experience seeing your work come to life. It’s something I want to keep doing for the rest of my life.”

Timmons said one of the biggest problems facing the success of manufacturing is finding qualified individuals to fill available jobs. He reminded students if they continue on a manufacturing career path, they will have a prominent place in the workforce.

“We have a skills gap all over the nation,” Timmons said to students. “By the year 2025, we estimate that there will be another 3.4 million manufacturing jobs available in the country and 2 million of those will go unfilled because we don’t have people with the right skills. That doesn’t apply to you. You are getting those skills here in this program.”

For more information about Palatine High School’s Manufacturing Program, please visit the website here.