Chicago Public Schools closed for Spring Break between April 15 and 19. Manufacturing Connect members, Juniors and Seniors at Austin College & Career Academy, Bowen High School and Prosser Career Academy, got the chance to do an internship with some of our manufacturing company partners. They worked a full day for the full week in an entry level position across different departments.
Thanks to our Industry Coordinators, DeeDee Jones and Ted Lykowski, we matched 37 interns with 13 employers, specifically 26 from Austin College & Career Academy, 8 from Bowen High School and 3 from Prosser Career Academy. The 13 hosting companies are American Zinc Recycling, A. Finkl Steel Co., Chicago Metal Spinning, Chicago Metal Supply, Freedman Seating Company, Hudson Precision, Laystrom Manufacturing, Matot, Meskan Foundry, Nuance Solutions, Tempel Steel and Zenith Fabricating.
90% of the interns got rated with the highest grades on their work-readiness evaluation.
Spring break internships are a great opportunity for our Manufacturing Connect participants to earn and learn. Most of our youth population does not know what manufacturing is all about, so this allows them to discover first hand the diversity and sense of pride that a career in manufacturing can provide. Many of them have already asked our staff if they can do a summer job as well. All of this is also beneficial to the manufacturing employers that get to know and train potential new talent to fill their pipeline directly from the communities they operate in. Manufacturing jobs are still alive: they have good wages and benefits. They require advanced skills. Part of the work to be done is change the perception around them.
Some of the Austin College & Career Academy Manufacturing Connect members did an in-house internship with our machining instructor. They made indoor plant vases.
Travis a Senior at Austin was evaluated as one of the best interns Chicago Metal Supply has ever had "didn't use cell phone, asked lots of questions".
After graduation, he plans to pursue manufacturing as a career. Travis is part of the cohort funded by the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership grant.
Fun facts about some of the companies: Freedman Seating is celebrating 125 years, Laystrom Manufacturing safety record is better than computer companies and Nuance Solutions makes the dish washer formula for Seventh Generation (a B certified corporation, which got bought by Unilever in 2016).