WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Academic Skills Aid Job Search

Aug 9, 2012

Illinois manufacturers have many unfilled jobs despite the number of job-seekers

Blanche Shoup, director of the Workforce Investment Board of Western Illinois, says many applicants lack specific skills, including math aptitude.

She says, “Math is absolutely critical and that's one of the areas that we score the lowest when it comes to evaluating the quality of our workforce.  Math is always a challenge.”

Shoup says jobs such as welding and machining require the ability to measure materials and perform calculations. Welding courses can last from as little as four weeks to two-years.

Job training is available for adults.  She says, “Spoon River College and Carl Sandburg have a whole system prepared to assist young people and any adult particularly in increasing their math skills.”

Shoup also says high school students who are not bound for college should continue to take math classes so they are ready for the job market.

She also encourages high school students to take dual-credit classes for college credit.