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DCEDC View: Annual dinner features 3M supply chain executive

Did you know that DeKalb is the hub for significant inbound and outbound shipments of industrial and consumer products throughout the world?

At the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp.’s 2018 annual dinner, Jason Dickinson, director of supply chain operations for 3M Corporation, will describe how the global science company receives thousands of 3M products from all regions of the world and ships to locations across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.

As director of supply chain operations, Dickinson is responsible for leading distribution, transportation and trade compliance functions across 3M’s vast global supply chains. 3M Corporation is a leader in the development and manufacturing of a diverse product portfolio that serves the industrial, safety and graphics, health care, electronics and energy, and consumer market segments.

3M is one of the largest private-sector employers in DeKalb County. The company opened operations in 1985 on Corporate Drive in DeKalb’s South Industrial Park. Since then, the company has expanded six times.

Now occupying 2½ million square feet of space, DeKalb operations have grown to be 3M’s largest distribution campus in the world.

In addition to the keynote presentation, the event highlights economic development accomplishments during the past year in the annual State of the County presentation.

The 2018 DCEDC Annual Dinner will be Oct. 4 at Faranda’s Banquet Center in DeKalb. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with our Exhibitor Showcase and high-level networking reception, followed by dinner and presentations, concluding at about 8:30 p.m.

Online reservations are available through Sept. 28 at or by contacting Karen Hoyle at 815-895-2711 or

International Manufacturing
Technology Show

So, do you want to know about the latest innovations in technology? What the future of manufacturing looks like? Would you like to build your own rocket and compete against other builders? Then the International Manufacturing Technology Show is the place to be.

Hosted every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, there are 1.4 million square feet of booths, displays and hands-on demonstrations for anyone involved in manufacturing and students who think they would like to investigate manufacturing as a career.

Tuesday, students from area schools are attending the Student Smartforce Summit at IMTS to get a glimpse of what international manufacturing will look like in the future.

Wednesday, the DCEDC is partnering in a reception with Gov. Bruce Rauner and Intersect Illinois for C-level executives from companies attending the show.

The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Sept. 15. So, if your student missed the opportunity or you have an interest, visit and plan a trip to McCormick Place.

Heavy Metal Tour scheduled

Speaking of trips, the sixth annual Heavy Metal Tour is taking shape. Scheduled for Oct. 19, each participating high school will visit two businesses and then converge on Kishwaukee College for a pizza lunch and a tour of the Career Technology Wing.

This event, in conjunction with Manufacturing Day, features tours at 3M, CST, Dawn Equipment, Ideal Industries and Upstaging. The objective of the tour is to expose students to careers in manufacturing, engineering, marketing, accounting, machine operation, management, fabrication and the career pathways typically not discovered by students.

Current data from Deloitte projects a need for 3 million manufacturing technicians by 2025; however, that same report reveals that as many as 2 million of those jobs will go unfulfilled.

If you know a student who wants to explore creating or building things through manufacturing and technology, sign-up lists and permission slips are available in the guidance offices of area high schools for this event.

Student participation in both the IMTS show and the Heavy Metal Tour is coordinated by Gene Fogle, workforce development coordinator for the DeKalb Ogle Workforce Development Consortium.

• Paul Borek is executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp.

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