Manufacturing – GradPlan

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Explore the opportunities available in the production of goods

Welcome to the world of making things!

Manufacturing is the process of making products, tools and other items people use every day. It can include handmade goods, factory-made items, and even food. Manufacturers work to ensure the goods they make meet consumer expectations.
Learn more about manufacturing, and regional training programs that can help you get started on this career path–
Training in manufacturing includes both classroom instruction and hands-on learning. Students determine the theory behind the work and then have the opportunity to practice it in the shop.

Illinois Region Manufacturing Programs


Jane Addams Resource Corp.

The Jane Addams RC provides FREE training and job placement services in a number of fields in the manufacturing sector. The JARC also works with employer partners to create job opportunities for students after completion.

Program Logistics: 10-20 weeks long with flexible morning and evening options. 


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Program Examples:

  • Welding
  • Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
  • Mechanical Assembly

Chicago Center for Arts & Technology

The Chicago Center for Arts and Technology is a local job training provider offering certification programs in three high demand fields. They support you through your program and into the workforce.

Program Logistics: FREE 6-9 month certifications, completed in-person at their location at 1701 W. 13th St. in Chicago.


Explore ChiCAT »

Program Examples:

  • Food Lab Tech
  • Health Information Tech
  • Advanced Maintenance Mechanics

Richard J. Daley College

The manufacturing program at Daley College – run by the City Colleges of Chicago – offers both basic and advanced certificates in machinery and manufacturing. The campus features state-of-the-art equipment in a recently built facility on Chicago’s southside.

Program Logistics: 3-12 month tuition-based programs, but you can use financial aid to help pay for your classes.


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Program Examples:

  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD)
  • Electrical Construction
  • Welding

In June of 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that there were over 800,000 manufacturing jobs available in the country, declaring a severe shortage of qualified laborers to fill these jobs.

This is a good indication that if you complete one of these programs and earn your certification, you will be well positioned to step right into a job.

Recommended Resources


Job Training Programs

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."

Malcolm X, human rights activist