• Rj Link Helping to Promote Manufacturing to Students

    One of the biggest challenges in the Manufacturing Industry is finding skilled and interested workers. The future of the industry is going to be heavily dependent on training people for the jobs that will keep companies competitive in the future. Rj Link Int., and other local manufacturers are partnering with the Rockford Public School District to create a sustainable talent pipeline.


    Rockford’s Roosevelt High School holds a Pathway’s Day, which is a monthly event that involves bringing in speakers from different industries to discuss careers in specific pathways. Rj Link’s Quality/Engineering Manager, John Oller, has presented to groups of students interested in manufacturing and engineering. In John’s presentations he has discussed how a product starts and ends within a company, while discussing the types of jobs of all the people involved.   These jobs included Sales, Design, Engineering, Project Management, Cost Estimating, Purchasing, Manufacturing Engineering, CNC Machinists, Inspection, Quality, Accounting, Finance, Receiving, Packaging, Shipping, etc.  Events such as this one were made possible when the Rockford Public School District 205 Board of Education voted unanimously to implement a district-wide high school redesign, adopting the Academy model.


    Academies feature:

    • Small learning communities
    • College and career prep curriculum for all students
    • Integration with business/civic/postsecondary/cultural communities


    A pathway is a sequence of courses within a student’s chosen academy designed to help the student prepare for a specific career area and meet the mandatory requirements for high school graduation. Pathways provide students with a plan to connect coursework in high school with college and career opportunities after graduation. A pathway, such as accounting, law and public safety or engineering, will enable a student to transition to college or the workforce much easier.


    Students chart their unique “pathway” during 8th and 9th grade, exploring career choices, and select one of the following academies to enter during their sophomore year:

    • BAMIT -Business, Arts, Modern World Languages & Information Technology
    • EMITT – Engineering, Manufacturing, Industrial & Trades Technology
    • HS – Health Sciences
    • HPS – Human & Public Services
    • CAPA – Creative & Performing Arts
    • Renaissance Gifted Academy



    Rj Link’s involvement with the Rockford Public School’s Academy Support Team provides a key role in exposing students to the pathways that are available in engineering, all phases of manufacturing and business.  


    Examples of Academy Support Team membership activities that Rj Link Participates In:

    • Mock interviews at the school – occurs yearly
    • Classroom Projects – ongoing monthly
    • Weekly or monthly tutor/mentor sessions
    • Career Exploration Week
    • Site Visits for teachers or students
    • Monthly Team Meetings
    • Networking with the community to communicate and acquire needed resources
    • Communication of regional events that may be beneficial for teachers and students





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