Did you know that the top 10 in demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004?
How are we preparing kids for jobs that do not even exist?…to use technology that has not yet been invented?…to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems?
The solution to these challenges may lie in a close coupling between the needs of the industries which will employ these students and our educators. The Rockford Region is making good progress in addressing this challenge and in aligning the future needs of our employers with the curriculum being offered in the area’s education systems.
Across all industries our region has employers who are technological leaders in their fields. These industry concentrations include Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, Automotive, and Logistics/Distribution among others.
All of region’s award winning school districts are responding to the future needs of these employers. RPS 205 continues to advance and the Rockford Region has been named a Ford Next Generation Model Community. In the area of post-secondary education, Rock Valley College (RVC) has established an airframe and powerplant mechanic certification program at the airport in support of the new AAR facility. OSF Healthcare is building a new School of Nursing on the RVC campus. The University of Illinois College of Medicine, Rockford is expanding and bringing in first year medical students. The Northern Illinois University / Rock Valley College Engineering Program will begin classes this fall. The Region is building the talent pipeline necessary to ensure we maintain our reputation as a center of innovation.
Whatever the future holds, we will be ready.
Until next month,
Michael Nicholas, President
Rockford Area Economic Development Council