City initiates collaboration in workforce development

City officials and higher education representatives met last week with Vandalia’s newest manufacturer to explain how they can help that manufacturer.
Vandalia Mayor Ricky J. Gottman and Director of Economic Development Amber Daulbaugh, Kaskaskia College President George Evans, Director of Workforce Engagement & Career Services Mike Conley and Dean Julie Obermark, as well as Vandalia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Garrison discussed workforce development opportunities with Atlas 46.
Atlas 46 is expanding its operations to Vandalia, with plans to employ up to 75 in the next two years.
During a scheduled tour of the Atlas 46 facility in Hillsboro last Thursday, representatives of the group met with Kyle Anderson, general manager of Atlas 46, to learn more about the manufacturer and workforce needs.
The group plans to meet and address specifics to identify the skills required and how that resonates in a newly created course through the work of Kaskaskia College.
Gottman said that a workforce training program be offered at Kaskaskia College Vandalia Education Center in Vandalia would benefit not only Atlas 46, but also other local industries, including Medline Industries, Kanata Blanket and DeMoulin Bros & Co. in Greenville.
“We have an opportunity to provide training programs locally to help manufacturers succeed by having skilled employees hit the ground running,” Gottman said.
“How fortunate we are to have Kaskaskia College create a new training program on behalf of these industries,” he said. “
It provides great opportunities for our adult and youth workers and businesses in our community and region.”
“My goal this year is to develop our workforce,” Daulbaugh said.
“Daily, I hear from business owners who need skilled labor and people who want to work.
“For our community to progress, the city needs to find ways to help businesses fulfill their workforce needs, as well as assist our residents, both current and potential, attain jobs that enhance their lives and our community.
“We can’t do it alone,” Daulbaugh said. “By collaborating with others, we have the ability to better reach this goal.”