Local business and industry leaders are spreading the word about a new initiative to strengthen the workforce in the area.  The Madison-Bond and MidAmerica workforce investment boards are collaborating with a variety of partners to launch a two-pronged campaign called "Manufacture Your Future/Craft Your Future – A Career that Pays in Southwestern Illinois."

1,500 job openings are expected in the manufacturing sector in Southwestern Illinois in the next five years, with an additional 1,200 jobs opening up in the trades.  SunCoke Energy GM Don Vichitvongsa tells The Big Z a career in manufacturing is not the same as it was a generation ago.

Click here for Vichitvongsa's comments

He says manufacturing jobs in Madison and St. Clair counties offer average earnings topping $80,000 a year, while careers in the trades also come with a high wage, averaging almost $33 per hour plus benefits of $22, for a total of $55 an hour.  For more information, click on the link:  www.wellpaid.info


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