Archive for the ‘workforce development’ Category

Upgrade Your Manufacturing Skills at Waubonsee

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Shop Math: This course covers basic math concepts used in manufacturing.

•    Tuesdays & Thursdays, May 16-30

  • 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Waubonsee Community College – Downtown Aurora
    • Cost: $355

CAM Programming for the Lathe: This is a study of the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) methodologies used by industry to aid CNC programming for lathe.

  • Saturdays, June 3-24
  • 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    • Waubonsee Community College – Sugar Grove
    • Cost: $550

CAM Programming for the Mill: This is a study of
the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
methodologies used by the industry to aid CNC
programming for the mill and mill turn applications.

  • Saturdays, July 8-29
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Waubonsee Community College – Sugar Grove
  • Cost: $550


If you have any questions, please call the WCC Workforce Development Office at (630) 906-4152.

This Week with the Aurora Chamber

Monday, April 24th, 2017
April 24, 2017
In This Issue


Quick Links

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company

Welcome New Members

Aurora Cord & Cable
Rick Tyler
401 Hankes Avenue, Aurora
(630) 851-1616


Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189



A Report Card:
The First 100 Days of Trump Administration
Wednesday, May 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora
Sponsored by Earthmover Credit Union

On Wednesday, March 3, 2017, the Aurora Regional Chamber will discuss President Donald Trump’s “First One-Hundred Days” (OK, 104, to be exact). Ben Taylor, executive director, Great Lakes Regional Office U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will be our featured speaker. From the transition and inauguration, through the confirmation process, and on to various Executive Actions and proposed legislation in the 115th Congress, we will seek to answer the following: “Where have we been; where are we now; and where are we headed? Likely topics of discussion include healthcare, tax and regulatory reform, as well as infrastructure. Please bring your questions and concerns; we want to make this an interactive session! Ben will share what he has learned and observed and what this means to employers and our region.

Register today.

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Last week, the Chamber team was busy working on a number of programs and activities to support our members, employers, and community. Among the highlights, we:

• Met with East Aurora 131 to identify opportunities for students with disabilities to enter the workforce;

• Met with Mayor-elect Richard Irvin to discuss business needs, including development services and workforce development;

• Toured Hesed House with Leadership Academy and discussed the social services available in our community;

• Continued planning for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club and welcome Meyer Wealth Advisors as presenting sponsor of the event as well as Prestige Sponsors Aurora Generation and Rasmussen College and Beverage Sponsor Geneva Construction Company;

• Prepared and planned for A Report Card: The First 100 Days of Trump Administration on Wednesday, May 3, presented by Earthmover Credit Union;

• Promoted National Small Business Week and the event on Wednesday, May 3, for local small businesses; and

• Served on local not-for-profit boards, supporting the great work they do for our region.

This week, we are preparing for:

• The return of state officials to Springfield as the House returns for work today and the Senate tomorrow;

• Working on worksite wellness programs with Kane County Health Department and its community health improvement plans;

• Thursday’s grand opening and ribbon cutting of Round One at Fox Valley Mall; and

• Leadership Academy’s visit and tour of Rush-Copley Medical Center on Friday.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Did You Know?
Did you know that April 30 through May 6 is National Small Business Week? Our country’s progress has been driven by pioneers who think big, take risks, and work hard. Some 80 percent of the Aurora Chamber’s membership reports fewer than 20 employees. Small business is the backbone of our region. We salute our region’s small businesses and are here to support small business.

In partnership with Crain’s Chicago Business, Invest Aurora, and other organizations, the Aurora Chamber invites you to the Small Business Expo & Procurement Fair on Wednesday, May 3, in Aurora.

For questions, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.

Calendar of Events
Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, April 27, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsord by Advanced Auto Parts

Grand Opening: Round One
Thursday, April 27, 3:30-8 p.m.
Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4 p.m.

A Report Card: The First 100 Days of Trump Administration
Wednesday, May 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E, New York St., Aurora
Sponsored by Earthmover Credit Union

Grand Re-Opening: West Suburban Bank
Thursday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1311 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting
Thursday, May 11, at 4:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Grand Opening: Advance Auto Parts
Friday, May 5, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
1386 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 p.m.

New Location Celebration: All Spoked Up
Friday, May 5, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
14 W. Downer Place Unit 12, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: Pet Supplies Plus
Wednesday, May 10, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
180 N. Randall Rd., North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 p.m.

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie Street, Aurora

Premier Members
Premier Members
Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

“Lifeline” Budget Sent to Senate

Register Now for Employer Action Day

US Chamber Releases Congressional Scorecard

Fair Maps


Human Services: New ID Cards

Education: School Accountability Plan

Economy: Tourism

Chicago: Population Trends

Budget: COGFA Projections

Budget: Pension Reform

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Aurora Fire Department Launches New Fire Cadet Program

Aurora, Five Others to Receive Grants to Implement the PWR Act

Aurora Celebrates National Week of the Young Child Play.Learn.Connect.

Kids Days Announced to be a part of the 2017 NCAA Golf Championships

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program

‘Blackhawk Park’ is new name for west side development

GreenTown Returns to Fox Valley – April 27

Registration is under way for Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race on Fox River

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Aurora Fire Department Launches New Fire Cadet Program

Friday, April 21st, 2017

The Aurora Fire Department has launched its new Fire Cadet Program and is recruiting young adults who are interested in pursuing a future career with the fire department.

The Aurora Fire Cadet Program is a unique opportunity that provides paid employment and hands-on experience with the Aurora Fire Department while exploring firefighting and paramedic careers.

“The Aurora Fire Department strives to build a team that is reflective of our community,” said Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz. “Through the Aurora Fire Cadet Program we will have the opportunity to strengthen the diversity of the department while bringing in the new ideas and perspectives of the next generation of Aurora firefighters.”

Working 20 to 30 hours per week, fire cadets are official Aurora Fire Department employees who assist in the day-to-day operations of the department while attending paramedic school and completing EMT basic training courses.

Upon completing a minimum of two years of service in the program – and the successful completion of the paramedic program – fire cadets will earn preference points that can be applied to their score on the Aurora Fire Department firefighter eligibility list.

Applicants to the Aurora Fire Cadet Program must:

  • Be between the ages of 17 and 19, and at least 18 at time of hire
  • Have a high school diploma, GED or a senior in high school at time of hire
  • Have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Possess a valid driver’s license with the ability to earn a Class B driver’s license
  • Pass a polygraph, psychological exam, background check and interview
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S. at the time of hire

To apply, visit  or contact the City of Aurora Human Resources Department at 630-256-3430.

Deadline to apply is Friday, May 5, 2017.

Aurora, Five Others to Receive Grants to Implement the PWR Act

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

In late July 2016, Governor Rauner signed into law HB5729, also known as the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) Act. The Act implements strategies identified through a multi-year process led by the P-20 Council’s College and Career Readiness Committee to better align the transition from high school into college and careers. You can learn more about the Act at

To support implementation of this effort at the local level, Education Systems Center at Northern Illinois University, on behalf of the Illinois 60 by 25 Network, awarded six Leadership Communities grants of $7,500 each in April 2017. The grants will be used to plan and begin initial implementation of one of two elements related to the PWR Act — transitional math instruction delivered to high school seniors to avoid remediation; or college and career pathway endorsements on high school diplomas. The communities that received the grants include Aurora Regional Pathways to Prosperity, East Side Aligned, Making Opportunities Real for Everyone in the Rock River and Mississippi River Valley (MORE), Northwest Educational Council for Student Success (NECSS), Rockford and the Starved Rock Region represented by North Central Regional Betterment Coalition. Aurora will focus on college and career pathway endorsements while the other five communities will focus on transitional math. All these efforts will be aligned with those occurring at the statewide level. For more information on each community’s work please click here.

Aurora Celebrates National Week of the Young Child™ Play.Learn.Connect.

Monday, April 17th, 2017

SPARK Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration, an education initiative of Fox Valley United Way, is hosting a free Resource Fair for parents and children:

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time:  10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location:  Santori Library, 101 S. River St., Aurora, IL 60506

This event is Aurora’s opportunity to honor young children, and those who make a difference in children’s lives.  The fair culminates the national celebration of the Week of the Young Child™ (April 16-April 22).

SPARK (Strong, Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten) and partners, including Fox Valley United Way, the Fox Valley Park District, Aurora Public Library, SciTech Museum, Waubonsee Community College and DayOnePACT, have come together to offer this event to the community.

Entertainment and activities will be provided for children, as well as opportunities for parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn about resources available to support them in efforts to help their children thrive in school.

“Through the work of SPARK and its partners, Aurora is afforded a great opportunity to prepare every preschooler for success in school and life,” said Trish Rooney, Director of SPARK Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration. “Week of the Young Child is a time for Aurora to recognize that Early Years are Learning Years® for all its young citizens.”

Week of the Young Child™, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), gives early childhood programs across the country–including child care and Head Start programs, preschools, and elementary schools–a platform for activities that bring awareness to the needs of young children.  Each year, this special week recognizes the importance of early learning and early literacy, and celebrates the teachers and policies that bring early childhood education to young children.

For more information about this event, visit or call (630) 896-4636.

About SPARK:  SPARK (Strong, Prepared and Ready for Kindergarten) is an education initiative of Fox Valley United Way, in collaboration with the City of Aurora and school districts 129 (West Aurora), 131 (East Aurora), and 204 (Indian Prairie) with long standing support from The Dunham Fund and the Gustafson Family Foundation.  Launched in 2012, the mission of SPARK Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration is to empower our diverse families and children to attain full success in learning and life by ensuring all Aurora’s young children have equal access to exemplary Early Childhood Care and Education.  Decades of research prove that children adequately prepared for kindergarten have a greater chance of succeeding in school and in life.

Attend the Effective Administration Assistant Course

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Waubonsee Community College is partnering with Andy Kauffman to deliver an instructor lead, online course called, “Effective Administrative Assistant” this spring. The course will be held on Fridays, April 21-May 19 (1:30-3:30pm).

Andy Kaufman, a certified trainer, author and executive coach, will teach the class. He has worked with administrative assistants around the world to help them be more effective in their roles and deliver results in the real world.

Topics for the course:

  • Week 1: Styles and Relationships
  • Week 2: Project Management for Administrative Assistants
  • Week 3: Managing Time and Commitment
  • Week 4: Influencing Others
  • Week 5: Managing Conflict

Click this link to find out more or to register.

If you have any questions, please call the WCC Workforce Development Office at (630) 906-4152.


Saturday, March 25th, 2017

New jobs created; economists continue to point to Illinois’ lagging job growth. The Illinois Department of Employment Security’s February 2017 unemployment report, showed the Prairie State’s jobless rate dropping from 5.7% to 5.4%. The current number was measured by the widely-followed U-3 ratio; other methods of measuring unemployment and underemployment also count people in other categories, such as involuntary part-time employment. These alternative metrics show much higher jobless numbers in Illinois.

Illinois has not created nearly as many new jobs as have neighboring and other U.S. states. In a pattern of lagging recovery from the severe recession of 2009-10, Illinois has created only 47,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs over the most recently measured twelve-month period – job growth of 0.8%. Poor numbers are concentrated in many Downstate communities and metropolitan areas, with unemployment of 11.1% posted for January 2017 in greater Rockford, 7.7% in the Decatur area and 7.0% in Carbondale. In fact, Illinois has virtually the same number of nonfarm payroll jobs as the number of employment positions that were posted and paid more than 16 years ago, during the previous job peak of September 2000.

Education: School Accountability Plan

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Plan retains reliance on standardized test metrics, but moves away from “No Child Left Behind.” The new plan approved by the Illinois State Board of Education creates a revised grading system to assess public school districts on their performance. While “No Child Left Behind” was widely criticized for its concentration on imposing proficiency guidelines on challenged school districts, the 2017 ISBE plan concentrates on academic growth metrics. Schools and school districts will be positively reinforced for showing healthy movements, including movements from a challenged or low baseline.

The ISBE plan follows the replacement of No Child Left Behind by the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015. Illinois, like other states, has been asked to adopt a plan that sets long-term goals, determine metrics for measuring progress towards these goals, and create a system to identify and support challenged schools and school districts. By 2032, the ISBE plan looks forward to at least 90% of children and adolescents meeting a series of age-appropriate goals. At least 90% of high school graduates should leave school in a state of readiness for college and career.

The ISBE’s reliance on standardized tests will continue to be key factors in determining whether these age-appropriate goals are being met. The ISBE will continue to use standardized tests to determine whether third graders are reading “at or above grade level” and fifth graders are “meeting or exceeding expectations” in math.

Jobs: Revised December Numbers

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Revised figure shows 18,700 more jobs in December 2016 than previously thought. The revised number, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), indicates that Illinois’ private-sector economy may be in better shape than has been publicly reported. Preliminary figures previously reported by IDES showed a net loss of 16,700 jobs in December, but a revision to these numbers erased this job loss and indicates that Illinois actually gained 2,000 jobs in the same month.

The problems noted by analysts upon release of the initial December 2016 figures remain in place. In particular, the “Christmas sales season” in job-creating retail activity was affected once again this year by the migration of significant transaction volumes to the Internet.

Although the revised numbers show Illinois’ job market continuing to grow slowly, the Land of Lincoln continues to underperform most other U.S. states in terms of economic growth and activity. Illinois continues to have fewer jobs than it did at its peak unemployment level, reached in September 2000 prior to 9/11 and the collapse of the so-called “dot com” boom. Illinois added 1,700 jobs in January 2017, maintaining its unemployment rate of 5.7%.

Education: Advanced Placement Test Results

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

College Board reports Illinois ranks fourth in U.S. for increasing the percentage of students who take and pass AP exams. Advanced placement courses and exams, which are familiar to Illinois honors high school students, are courses that are meant to signal the ability of a student to master collegiate-level education in a variety of fields. Many colleges and universities will accept AP test results as a partial substitute for hours of course instruction. AP test results can make the difference, for some students, between graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in four years versus requiring five years or more to complete the required course work for a degree.

State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith announced Illinois’ AP numbers and national standing on Friday, Feb. 24. Almost 40 percent of Illinois’ 2016 high school graduating class took AP tests prior to graduation, with 64 percent of this subset passing their test. This success rate meant that an unprecedented one-quarter of the 2016 Illinois graduating class earned potential college credits from this pathway. This 25 percent number was a sharp increase from 14 percent for 10 years earlier. School districts throughout Illinois are encouraging their pupils to take AP courses and exams. Superintendent Smith’s announcement was based on new nationwide Class of 2016 information from the College Board, the consortium that operates and oversees the Advanced Placement system.