Building aerospace talent in Rockford

Our colleagues in Rockford used Strategic Doing to design this innovative initiative to fill the aerospace talent pipeline. The Rockford paper ran a great article on their work. Read more here.

Rockford, Illinois is a global center of excellence in advanced manufacturing, particularly in aerospace.  This critical sector of the economy is threatened by a looming shortage of engineering talent. In collaboration with industry partners and the local community college, Northern Illinois University (NIU) created a community-based, industry-integrated workforce developent solution to address the demand for engineers.  Rockford area students can now earn bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and applied manufacturing technology without traveling to NIU’s main campus in DeKalb. Third and fourth year NIU courses are taught by NIU professors on the Rock Valley [Community] College (RVC) campus.  Students have paid internships with area companies and are mentored by local NIU and RVC alumni.

This initiative won an Award of Excellence presented by the University Economic Development Association. Learn more here.

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Ed Morrison