Vermilion Advantage’s role in Workforce Development began in 1998 after the closing of three major employers, escalating unemployment rates and rapidly aging workforce. It was a wake-up call to take action and the formation of the first industry cluster. It was an initiative to address workforce preparation gaps impacting both existing businesses and potential new business. Since then, Vermilion Advantage has served as the community’s natural convener to address workforce development needs and challenges. Since 2017, the organization has focused on five key industry sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Education, Healthcare, Logistics/Distribution, and IT/Technical Services. Over 60 businesses and education institutes collectively make up the core economic pillars of Vermilion County’s economy. The collaborative focuses on two parallel strategies revolving around educational enhancement and community awareness.
The talent pipeline management system brings businesses together to speak as a single voice to the local education system and the community. Since its inception, the business collaboratives have created and supported educational programs focusing on work ethics and stem-based programs.