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Illinois Could See Jobs Added in Manufacturing and Health Care Sectors in 2013

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Workers at Titan Wheel are prepping a brand new 75,000-square foot space so they can begin production early in the summer of 2013, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig.

“We’ve had two back-to-back record years here at Titan. As we come into this year, our customers are all looking at a very strong year, which means we’re going to have a very strong year,” said Dave Salen, president of Titan Wheel.

Employers in Illinois are expecting to add jobs in the manufacturing and health care sectors in 2013. A survey from ManPower Group shows that 17 percent of employers in Illinois are going to add employees. An added 71 percent will keep staff levels the same and two percent are planning layoffs.

The manufacturing job base increased by 2.4 percent over the past year. The number of jobs jumped from 579,900 in December of 2011 to 594,100 last month. In the state, one in every 9.7 non-farming jobs is in the manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing in Illinois is going to always be relatively strong,” said Tom Gimbel, CEO of the Chicago-based staffing firm LaSalle Network. “You’ve got Caterpillar and Deere. … That’s Midwestern products and Midwestern values. It mirrors the types of people that are out there. You’ve got people that want to have a (steady) job for 30 years.”

“I’ve worked all over the United States and all over the world and I’d put these guys up against anybody,” Salen said of his crew in Illinois.

The vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Jim Nelson, said, “Everybody who wants to work in today’s manufacturing environment needs some post-secondary education. The K-12 system does go a long way to preparing students for the world of work, but we now rely so much on robotics, computer-animated systems.”

Joel Shalowitz, a physician, professor and director of health industry management at the Kellogg School of Northwestern University, said that the health care industry needs highly trained employees as well.

“We are really entering an era where somebody’s going to need a higher level of training — and not just education, but training,” Shalowitz said.

Some analysts think that the largest job creator for Illinois in 2013 will be the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is possible that hospitals might have to add staff members in jobs that require four-year degrees along with experience as well as jobs that do not require a ton of educational background.

Ron Tallcott, human resources manager at Blessing Hospital, said, “We’re looking at the RN getting a bachelor’s degree or even master’s for those higher quality measures. We’re going to be very strategic in making sure we have very educated individuals filling those positions.”

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Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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