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Manufacturers open door to McHenry, Crystal Lake students

School Districts 47, 155, 156 to hold manufacturing day events

Cabinet maker Andrea Yori of Crystal Lake works on building furniture Thursday at Heartland Cabinet Supply in Crystal Lake.
Cabinet maker Andrea Yori of Crystal Lake works on building furniture Thursday at Heartland Cabinet Supply in Crystal Lake.

A gap in McHenry County’s manufacturing workforce has led several area school districts to team up with local businesses to introduce parents and students to new career paths in the industry.

Here’s a look at some of the manufacturing events unfolding in the community in the coming weeks.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 2, McHenry High School District 156 will open the doors of McHenry East High School, 1012 N. Green St., for the third annual Manufacturing Trade and Industry Expo.

More than 50 manufacturers and trade organizations throughout McHenry County will be in attendance for parents and students to explore. Seniors are welcomed to register for a chance to receive a $3,000 post-secondary tech scholarship. The event is free and open to the public.

Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 and Community High School District 155 – in partnership with the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce – will launch the inaugural “Made in Your Own Backyard” event Oct. 4.

Crystal Lake manufacturers General Kinematics, Heartland Cabinet Supply, Precision Waterjet Inc. and Mathews Co. will welcome parents and students into their shops to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind company doors.

Buses will depart from all District 155 high schools at 5:30 p.m. and make two 45-minute stops at the companies’ headquarters. Buses will return to the school by 8 p.m.

Because space is limited, school officials ask that one parent attend with each student. Families can register online. Almost 80 families already have registered.

The point of the events is simple, District 155 Superintendent Steve Olson said.

“[It’s] giving kids different avenues to explore,” Olson said. “We live in a certificated society. ... We have some kids come out with degrees that don’t make them employable. There’s a multitude of jobs with a degree of training that one can make a living [with].” 

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