Changing Workforce / Industrial Robotics / Career Development

'We're making automation techs': On Chicago's South Side, training workers for jobs in robotics

By Crain's Chicago Business

Oct 12, 2017

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Inside a plant at 95th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue sit two massive injection molding machines primed to make compostable plastic utensils. They're also going to make workers.

This is the new home of BSD Industries, a social enterprise that will train individuals in robotics, preparing them for jobs that manufacturers are struggling to fill. As she shows off the $250,000 machines, Trista Bonds, 45, vice president of engineering and manufacturing operations, is clear about what she's building.

"We teach, not a process, but the components that support processes in manufacturing, because then you have the opportunity to work pretty much in any industrial environment and have skills to handle the technology," she says. "We're not making plastics technicians, or welding techs, or food processing techs. We're making automation techs."

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