Manufacturing Sector Analysis​

MFG Sector Overview

Key takeaways from the landscape analysis for the Manufacturing Sector in the Chicagoland area:

  • Good middle-skills roles in this space are primarily focused on CNC machining and production processes. Many are interconnected and stackable, whereby individuals can start with lower-wage roles and move up with increased job training or additional industry or college credentials.
  • Some roles are lagging in the living wage or growth category but have skills that could reasonably be useful in attaining higher wage roles within the same industry. For example, welders could be assisted to enter CNC and Machining occupations.
  • Apprenticeships are up and coming but still lack scale in this region.

Overview of Private Training Landscape

Based on Chicagoland CareerPathways, the private training landscape features:

  • Very few providers in this space (reasonable given equipment requirements)
  • WIOA providers leading to internships or pre-apprenticeship opportunities, but conversion to credit programs unclear or missing high-value industry credentials (i.e. beyond intro safety credentials) as a part of the experience

Recommended Improvement Strategies for MFG

Based on the landscape analysis, the EdSystems team proposes the following strategies to both prepare residents for living wage roles in the Manufacturing Sector and meet labor market demands:

  • Focus on alignment of CTE and Dual Credit Pathways, as well as nonprofit training providers and Bridge programs, to the new “core” Basic Certificate model at CCC + Foundational Industry Credentials
    • Crosswalk new NC3 certifications used in the new Daley College model with common AWS, MSCC and NIMS credentials
  • Ensure clear articulation from NIMS/AWS/MSSC into CCC courses and programs
  • Focus continued career pathway supports to move entry-level Machinists and Operators into Maintenance Workers and Industrial Machinery Mechanics

MFG Priority Occupation and Promising Credential Areas

Middle Skill Credential Area
Occupations
Typical Entry Education
Chicagoland Wage $/hr
Chicagoland Projected Growth (10 yr.)
Annual Chicagoland Job Openings
Term
Manufacturing Technology
Welders, Cutters, Welder Fitters
High School + On-the-Job Training
$20.77
5.7%
518
Gateway Occupation
First-Line Supervisors of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers
Postsecondary Certificate
$36.89
7%
550
High Priority Occupation
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
Postsecondary Certificate
$31.23
5%
877
High Priority Occupation
Precision Machining & Production
Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operations, Metal and Plastic
High School + On-the-Job Training
$17.79
5.2%
150
Gateway Occupation
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic
Postsecondary Certificate
$25.47
17.4%
53
High Priority Occupation
Machinists
High School + On-the-Job Training
$20.65
5%
1,214
Gateway Occupation
Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
High School + On-the-Job Training
$17.94
5%
331
Gateway Occupation
Tool and Die Makers
Postsecondary Certificate
$26.15
-2.6%
146
Gateway Occupation
Factory Automation
Maintenance Workers Machinery
High School + On-the-Job Training
$26.81
9.4%
199
High Priority Occupation
Industrial Machinery Mechanics
High School + On-the-Job Training
$26.90
11.2%
421
High Priority Occupation
CAD Technology
Mechanical Drafters
Associate Degree
$28.54
5.6%
143
High Priority Occupation
Architectural and Civil Drafters
Associate Degree
$31.86
3.3%
115
High Priority Occupation

MFG Pathway Progressions​

Explore Other Middle Skills Pathways in Chicago Sector Analyses