CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Parkland College in Champaign celebrated Manufacturing Month with a new program for high school students.

The school partnered with several Champaign County agencies, including the Chamber of Commerce, to launch this program. On Tuesday, they hosted the first student manufacturing day.

“We are facing a worker shortage in this country, and it is really important that we build that pipeline,” said Champaign County Chamber of Commerce president Laura Weis. “Without that pipeline that shortage is going to continue.”

Students were given tours around area manufacturing companies. They learned about the economic impact of manufacturing and jobs offered in the field.

“It got me thinking about college,” said Champaign Central High School student PJ Bwandundu. “Because since I’m a senior, it got me thinking about my career next year, you know, if I want to go to college or not.”

Weis hopes this program can be a model for other industries.