RPC’s Workforce Development Program Helps Longtime Champaign County Business Continue to Thrive

The HL Precision Manufacturing logo

With facilities in Champaign and Fisher, HL Precision Manufacturing has been a leader in the advanced manufacturing industry for nearly 40 years. This past June the company announced a partnership with Hi-Grade Welding from Schaumburg, Illinois, to work together and provide broader manufacturing solutions for each company’s customer base. HL says without continuous support from the RPC’s Workforce Development program to improve the manufacturing and skilled trades industry, this partnership would not have been possible.

HL specifically credits the RPC’s Incumbent Worker Training program. Along with providing their employees with opportunities for learning and professional growth that they would not have had available to them otherwise, the funding has given HL the chance to advance and grow their labor force’s skills through an online manufacturing curriculum called Tooling-U SME. HL employees can either take classes during designated work periods or take courses at home and advance their professional skills on their own time.

“There is a skills gap in the manufacturing industry and our company has come to the realization that we need to start training our workforce and potential employees from within,” comments Emily Griffith, HL’s marketing coordinator. “This program allows us to do that. Not only does this in turn help our company’s overall performance by strengthening the employees’ knowledge and skills, but it also makes the employees more competitive when it comes around to their annual performance reviews where they can show that they have taken the initiative to better themselves professionally.”

HL also credits Toriana Rhone, the RPC’s Workforce Development program manager, for offering tremendous support to their company. “Toriana helped during our application process for the Incumbent Worker Training program and is always quick to reply when we have questions,” says Griffith. In addition, Rhone is currently helping HL find resources to start the same program with the new company arising from the partnership with Hi-Grade Welding.

“It is our hope to extend the benefits of this program to Hi-Grade to better its workforce professionally, as well,” Griffith concludes. “Toriana has taken real initiative in helping us accomplish this goal by whatever means necessary.”

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