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Sales and Marketing

STEP Forward: Illinois

Thursday, 02/21/2019

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM


Manufacturing faces a serious skills gap with nearly 500,000 open jobs in the sector today. Meanwhile women – half of the total workforce – comprise less than a third of the manufacturing workforce. As women are one of the largest pools of untapped talent, we need to do more to bring more women into manufacturing.
Join us on February 21st for STEP Forward: Illinois, a networking event for manufacturers. STEP Forward is part of the Institute’s larger STEP Ahead initiative to empower women in science,technology, engineering and production (STEP) careers and brings this national initiative to the Chicago-area, offering companies a unique opportunity to strengthen their diversity strategies.
Sponsored by BKD and Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, STEP Forward: Illinois is a half day program designed to build your networks, drive collective thinking around increasing manufacturing career opportunities, increase awareness of manufacturing within younger generations, and bridge the skills gap in our local communities. Through an industry-based panel discussion, we will tell the stories of real women who represent the changing faces of manufacturing. By demonstrating the opportunities available in manufacturing, we can inspire the next-generation of talent to pursue careers in the industry.


2:00 – 3:00 pm  Company Panel

Everyone has a personal story of how they landed a career in manufacturing. Hear local industry leaders share their personal journeys, advice for advancing your career, and key takeaways to help you succeed in your own journey, with the opportunity for Q&A.

3:00 – 4:15 pm  Building Your Networks

Building Your Networks is a facilitated workshop to collaborate and find solutions to issues while focusing on contributing to others. Built on the concept of paying it forward this session is designed to support problem solving by building and expanding individual networks.

4:15 – 5:15 pm  LEAD the Next Generation

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with STEM students from the local community and introduce them to the many career opportunities in manufacturing.

5:15 – 6:00 pm  Networking Reception

Join us for this half-day event where we will empower attendees to lead in their companies and communities and act asa catalyst for change to attract, advance and retain strong manufacturing talent.