Business and Industry

Randy Strohl, electrical systems training specialist at the center, far right, demonstrates an adaptation of the board game “Operation.” The game is used as a training tool in the Manufacturing Skills Training Lab. Students learn to program a robotic arm to pick up washers in certain body parts in a specific order.

MATTOON — When it comes to making people better employees, the Center for Business and Industry at Lake Land College wants to help.

Located in the Workforce Development Center at 305 Richmond Ave. East in Mattoon, the CBI partners with companies to deliver job-related education, training and technical services for the area’s industry, said Bonnie Moore, director of the Center for Business and Industry.

“Our Manufacturing Skills Lab is state of the art and the only one of its kind in our area,” said Moore. “We have subject matter experts in a vast number of areas. We are more cost-effective than private company training. We believe that our role is vital to the health, growth and sustainment of industry in the LLC District.”

While the Lake Land College district encompasses 15 counties, Moore said the CBI can provide training virtually anywhere within these boundaries. It offers programs, such as Manufacturing Training, Manufacturing Skills Program, Electrical Skills Training, Commercial Truck Driving Training, Professional Development and Leadership Training.

According to the American Society for Training and Development, companies that offer comprehensive training earn 24 percent higher profit margins than companies that don’t.

In Effingham County, training has come by way of leadership skills, manufacturing training and training with Microsoft Excel. Businesses utilizing the CBI include Siemer Milling, Waupaca Foundry, Stevens Industries, Teutopolis State Bank, The Equity, EJ Water Cooperative, Irwin Telescopic Seating, IBEW and Pinnacle, in a variety of ways.

“As far as the Commercial Driver’s License Program goes, we offer both Class A and Class B programs,” said Moore. “We have an extremely high success rate from both of our sites in Marshall and Mattoon. It is a vital part of CBI. Many companies from the Effingham area recruit our drivers and we are exploring the possibility of adding a site in Effingham.”

The CBI offers customized training in one of the region’s only Manufacturing Skills Training Lab or on a job site. The mobile equipment can be transported in order to provide quality training to employees in Effingham or other communities.

“We are unique because we can provide training virtually anywhere — we can offer a class on site at the employer; at any Lake Land College facility, including satellites such as the Kluthe Center; online; or any blend of the three,” said Moore.

Depending on which industry requests services, Moore said a business might be seeking anything from leadership to highly technical training; to computer software training to basic work skills.

Basic work skills might be about being on time, grooming and missing work. It might involve consulting to professional development, which could include continuing educational opportunities.

“All of our equipment is mobile, even the manufacturing skills lab, so we can go anywhere,” said Moore.

The Center for Business and Industry Manufacturing Training includes training in the areas of Microsoft Office Suite, Computer-Aided Drafting, Computer Numerical Control, Mechanical Systems, Fluid Power, Electricity and Motor Control, Programmable Logic Control, Human Machine Interface, Electronic Drive Systems, shop math and basic math skills.

It also teaches safety topics, such as OSHA standards, electrical safety, lock out-tag out, quality, work ethics and other areas.

Hands-on training is what it’s all about at the CBI, which offers a program on Electrical Skills Training that will involve extensive training in a variety of electrical maintenance areas for new employees or to help refine skills for incumbent technicians.

Dawn Schabbing can be reached at or 217-347-7151, ext. 138.

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