Skip to main content

LLCC launches Workforce Institute; invites public to try out trades, meet employers at Workforce 101 sessions

Projected worker shortage in skilled trades 'staggering'
Workforce Institute at Lincoln Land Community College



SPRINGFIELD – Lincoln Land Community College announces the launch of the Workforce Institute, featuring short-term, affordable training for high-demand, high-wage occupations.

“Students will get in, get trained and get a job,” says Nancy Sweet, dean of the Workforce Institute. “The world has changed, people are evaluating their futures, jobs are available. Whether you’re a recent high school graduate or someone looking to reskill or upskill, it’s now even more convenient to enroll in our trade programs when you want and complete certificates employers want.”

“The projected worker shortage in skilled trades over the next five to 10 years is staggering,” says Andy Fuchs, training coordinator for Local 137 Plumbers, Steamfitters and HVACR. “We cannot find enough skilled workers. I encourage students to consider a career in the trades. These careers can support you throughout life with high pay and great benefits.”

Josh Laurent, director of fixed operations, Green Family Stores, adds, “We rely on LLCC grads to fill our workforce needs. We have great jobs available in the automotive industry for mechanics who are skilled and want to work.”

“We fully support LLCC’s Workforce Institute and its vital role in getting community members back to work after the pandemic,” says Ryan McCrady, president and CEO of the Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance.

Workforce 101 sessions

LLCC invites those looking to start or change careers to Workforce 101 sessions on Saturday, June 26 to try their hands at various trades and meet employers. Morning (9-noon) sessions include welding, culinary, construction and aviation mechanics. Afternoon (1-4 p.m.) sessions are auto technology; heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC); and hospitality. “At Workforce 101 sessions, you’ll roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with the kinds of work you’d be doing on the job. You’ll learn about the program, what it’s like to learn in our training labs, and employers will talk about careers in their industries, demand and wages. You’ll see if you can picture yourself in that career,” says Sweet.

Registration for the event is open on the Workforce Institute webpage. Workforce 101 participants will receive a gas card and Workforce Institute items, and if they attend two sessions, a free lunch. All 101 sessions will be held at the Workforce Careers Center on the LLCC campus except aviation mechanics, which is located at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport.

“Our career training costs less than half of comparable training at local private institutes,” says Sweet. “We support students all the way from enrolling, through their training and connecting them to local employers.”

“Employers are seeking a trained and diverse workforce, including workers from underrepresented groups,” notes Aidan Tierney, LLCC welding instructor. “Even if you’ve never pictured yourself in the trades before, it’s possible. Now is the time.” Sheridan Lane, director of culinary programs, says restaurants, resorts, casinos and cruise ships are ready to take off. “You can be part of this industry as it reinvents itself.”

Representatives from all Workforce Institute programs will be on hand at the event to talk to interested students and families. In addition to those training programs featured in the 101 sessions, the Workforce Institute includes truck driving, electrical distribution lineman and commercial electrical maintenance.

More information on LLCC’s new Workforce Institute and Workforce 101 sessions is available at