Workforce Development & Education

Workforce Development & Education

A bottom-up approach to workforce education and training.

The Work Skills Gap is a national problem, but the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region has adopted a proactive approach, involving businesses, higher education and economic development officials to meet this challenge with several home-grown programs that have produced results. We haven’t licked the problem completely, but we are making progress in creating a well-trained, educated and committed workforce.

Sauk Valley Community College and Multicraft Technologies

The Multicraft Extended Internship Program provides an outstanding opportunity for select students to obtain valuable work experience, and get paid, while earning their two year applied associates degree in the Multicraft Technology Program at SVCC. Numerous local industries have partnered with SVCC to offer part-time positions for students so they can apply what they are learning in the classroom to the job site. Compensation packages will vary with details to be worked out before employment.

Current Participating Employers
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Astec Mobile Screens, Bonnell Industries, BorgWarner, Crest Foods, Donaldson, E. D. Etnyre, FRANTZ Manufacturing, Genesis III, PNC, Spectrum Brands (Rayovac), Timken, Walmart DC 7024, Wahl Clipper Corporation, Dana Incorporated, UPM Raflatac, and MacLean Fogg.

For more information, click on any of the links below:

Multicraft Technology
Multicraft Extended Internship Program (MEIP)
MEIP Application
MEIP Company Descriptions


A typical arrangement would have the student work at a local industry Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for On-The-Job Training, Facility Specific Skill Develoment and Workplace Culture then attend SVCC, on a full-time academic schedule, on Tuesday and Thursday for Tech Classes, Electronics, Welding, HVAC and General Education in Communication, Collaboration, Analytical and Workforce Behavior Development. However, schedules may vary depending on industry and student need.  

Getting started is as easy as 1-2-3-4!

  1. Contact Josh West by phone at 815-835-6334 or jThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to begin the applicationprocess. Josh can fill in the details of the program and get you started.
  2. Update your resume. Feel free to contact Sauk's Career Services department to create a resume for the first time or update an existing one. This service is provided by the College for FREE. Call 815-835-6303 to make an appointment.
  3. To get a jump on the process, please review the participating companies to learn more about what they do, where they are located, and the type of internship they offer.
  4. Once steps 1-3 are completed, contact your chosen companies to submit your application and resume. Interested companies will schedule an appointment with you.

CNC is just one of the many great options Sauk has for Manufacturing Technology. Explore all of these outstanding programs!

(H73) Certificate 
The Certificate program is intended to provide knowledge and additional training to a student already in the field of manufacturing, as well as a new student to the field who would like to increase his/her knowledge on topics such as machining, tool & die, and CNC operations.

Work and Employment 
The program will allow a student to either gain entry level employment into manufacturing fields or have a student already involved in manufacturing increase his/her skill set for greater employment flexibility. Click here for further career information:

Program Contacts at Sauk Valley Community College 
Academic Advising, 815/835-6354

Estimated Program Cost 
The following figures are based on 2019-20 tuition and fee rates and the course fees in the Class Schedule for the required number 24 credit hours.

                                               In-District                        Out-of-District                 Out-of-State 
Tuition                                   $3,168.00                          $8,112.00                           $9,000.00 
Fees                                             $336.00                              $336.00                              $336.00 
Course Fees                          * $256.00                          * $256.00                           * $256.00 
Total Tuition and Fees    $3,760.00                          $8,704.00                           $9,592.00

* Note: Course fees may vary depending upon the classes that a student completes within an academic program. The course fee above is only an estimation and represents the maximum course fees possible; it is likely that course fees will be lower than the estimation above.

The Whiteside Area Career Center

The Whiteside Area Career Center is one of 61 regional vocational systems in Illinois. Organized in 1986-87, it is designed to coordinate and provide regional career and technical programming among its members, act as the flow-through of federal and state resources, and market career and technology education throughout the region.

Career and technical programs are provided at the Whiteside Area Career Center. Occupational clusters include Auto Tech, Building Trades, Computer Aided Drafting, Computer Repair & Networking, Criminal Justice, Digital Media Arts, Early Childhood Education, Food Service Occupations, Health Occupations, Machining Trades, and Welding Fabrication. High school-aged students are able to attend dual-credit courses, get a head start on their career path and learn work skills and soft skills prior to entering the workplace. Many of the students enter college with college credits already in-hand.

CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities)

Entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people, especially youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Rather, students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes.

The CEO class meets and is a year-long, two credit high school course with pending college dual accreditation.

A key part of the success enjoyed by the class is rooted in a Facilitator who challenges each individual student and can manage constant change in the classroom.

Funding comes from Business Partners, the Community Foundation and student projects.

The student selection process is a defined process. Students must submit a written request for admission, letters of recommendation and complete an entrepreneurial profile.

The Classroom 
The class meets in local businesses and changes locations throughout the year. This helps the students establish a common identity based on their CEO experience and a greater appreciation for our areas professional work environments.

CEO mentors help students immerse themselves in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes.

List of Current Investors 
Advance EMS of Dixon, Astec Mobile Screens, Blackhawk Hills Regional Council, BorgWarner, CEO Class of 2016, CEO Class of 2017, CEO Class of 2018 (6-year investor), CGH Medical Center, Champion Chisel Works, Inc., City of Sterling, Clifton Larson Allen, Community State Bank, Compeer Financial, Craig & Beth Lindvahl, Dave & Stephanie Schreiner, Deer Valley Banquets & Golf, Deets Farms, Dixon Chamber of Commerce & Main Street, Inc., Drs. Dave & Linda Hellmich, Etnyre International, Ltd., Farmer's National Bank, Fehr Graham, Frantz Manufacturing Co., Greater Sterling Development Corp, Gregory & Teresa Hummel, Halo Branded Solutions, Inc., Illinois Bank & Trust, Jakobs Bros. Farms, Inc., Jerry & Cathy Binder, John & LuAnn Gvozdjak, Jon & Margo Empen, Julie Mann, Ken Nelson Auto Group, Knie Appliance & TV, Inc., KSB Hospital, Lance Wahl, LeAndra Hartman, McCormick's Nursery, MCR Technologies Group, Inc., Melton Seed & Service (Channel Seeds), Menk, USA, Mid America Plastic Company, Midland States Bank, Moore Tires, NRG Media/Dixon & Al Knickrehm, Rock River Lumber & Grain Co., RRCA Accounts Management, Sandrock Farms, Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Sauk Valley Bank, Sauk Valley Insurance, Inc., Serenity Hospice and Home, Sterling/Rock Falls Community Trust, Suzanne & Mike Ravlin, The Cornerstone Agency, Trinity Financial, United Way of Whiteside County, US Bank, VeriFacts Inc, Wahl Clipper, Wal-Mart Foundation, Willett, Hofmann, & Associates, Inc.

60 X 25

Goal: 60% of all adults have a college or career credential by 2025.

Our region’s communities are working together to provide rigorous, real-world learning in and out of the classroom with schools partnering with local businesses to create job-shadowing, career mentoring and dual-credit programs that will create the workforce employers are seeking.

Today we recognize that all high school graduates need some postsecondary education and/or training if they are to have options and opportunities in the job market. In Illinois, 80% of employers say they need employees with some postsecondary education. Currently only 40% of Illinois residents have a high-quality post-secondary college or career credential.

These realities in Illinois have driven communities to look for broader solutions to what are increasingly seen as systemic problems in the education-to-employment continuum.

60 X 25 is the region’s response to this challenge. 

Best Inc.

Business Employment Skills Team Inc. is a non-profit agency that administers federally-funded programs in an eight-county area of Northwest Illinois, enabling workers to work and businesses to compete in a global economy.

With nine offices in our region, its focus is assisting adults and youth gain meaningful employment through training, job search assistance and work experience. Accessing its vast range of business services, BEST, Inc. assists local companies to thrive in today’s complex, competitive and ever-changing economy. Its professional staff will meet with employers on-site to assess their needs and determine an appropriate implementation plan.

The organization offers a broad menu of services to adults, dislocated workers and youth, including subcontracting with local schools for a variety of educational projects.

Morrison Tech

Morrison Tech is one of the Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region’s hidden gems. Ranked as a “Top 30 Vocational School” by Forbes in 2017, Morrison Tech is the Premier Engineering Technology and Network Administration College in the Midwest, perhaps even the nation.

A hands-on educational approach allows students to learn by doing, and to develop the skills necessary to be successful. Morrison Tech students are well-prepared to enter the job force and make an impact on day one of employment. The school provides a key pipeline of talented engineering students, many of whom are found in key positions with local businesses.

Morrison Tech recently broke ground on the Morrison Tech Innovation Center. The Innovation Center will have it all, including cutting-edge additive manufacturing equipment, robotics and electronics labs, a construction technology lab, traditional manufacturing equipment, wood working and metal working equipment, welding equipment, and casting space will come together to provide almost limitless options.

Built to serve four primary clients, the center will foster collaboration and creativity.  Students, businesses, artisans and entrepreneurs will benefit from a place where ideas are explored, dreams are pursued, and discoveries are made.

Schools, Colleges & Universities

The Whiteside/Northwest Illinois Region is within two hours of more than 60 colleges and universities, and more than 120,000 graduates per year – including 5,000-plus engineering graduates.

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