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Students find their Passion through Manufacturing Pathway

Published: 10/13/2021

October is Manufacturing Month. District 214 is highlighting this growing field and how students are getting the hands-on experience they need to jump-start their careers.

D214’s Manufacturing career cluster teaches students how to plan, manage and process materials into intermediate or final products. It offers a variety of certification opportunities as well as advanced courses where students can earn college credits.

“Students will start from scratch with basic measurements and work all the way up to some pretty advanced CNC (Computer Numerical Control) programming,” said Jon Pieper, the manufacturing career and technical educator at Elk Grove High School.

“I’m really grateful to have this pathway because last year I did not know what I wanted to do after high school,” said Jose Cervantes, a senior at Elk Grove High School. “I can work with machines, make parts and get paid for it. It’s something I just really like to do."

Manufacturing is a leading driver in Illinois’ economy, with more than $100 billion of annual economic output and more than 18,000 manufacturing companies located here in the state. Nationally, manufacturers seek to fill four million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade.