JJC and Congressman Foster Host Employer Roundtable with Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu

Joliet Junior College and Congressman Bill Foster partnered to bring U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu to campus on Aug. 26 to have a roundtable discussion on the skills gap and workforce issues with area employers. Rep. Natalie Manley, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr., and Will County Executive Larry Walsh, Sr. also attended.

Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu (center) visits the JJC welding lab with instructor Greg Pakieser, left, and Congressman Bill Foster, right.

Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu (center) visits the JJC welding lab with instructor Greg Pakieser, left, and Congressman Bill Foster, right.

“Will County has been a bright spot in dealing with the problem of the skills gap,” said Foster. “Educational institutions, such as JJC, local government, and the business and workforce community have come together to provide an environment for students to get the skills they need to become productive workers and climb the ladder into the middle class. By working together, and listening to each other’s needs, the next generation of workers will be better prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century economy. I’m glad U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu was able to see the work being done on the ground.”

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Approximately 20 area employers, legislators and educational partners participated in the roundtable discussion.

Following that, Secretary Lu toured some of JJC’s technical labs, which included the remodeled welding lab with new machines and virtual welders, and the recently upgraded CNC and manual machining labs. All of these upgrades happened thanks to funding from a federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCCT) the college received in 2012.

 

 

 

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