PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Manufacturers Association and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center are celebrating Manufacturing Month.

The “Makers on the Move” bus tour is making stops in every region of the state over 8 days.

Monday they saw the wrapping and packaging assembly going on at Peoria Production Solutions.

Professionals in the manufacturing industry are accompanying the tour to bring awareness about the career options available.

The IMA president said the need to fill these spots is very real for manufacturing in Illinois.

“It’s the number one challenge that manufacturers face whether you’re a global Fortune 50 company or a small company like Peoria Productions. Nationally there are more than 600,000 open manufacturing jobs and for comparison’s sake, before the pandemic, the highest recorded number was 437,000, so we’re about 50 percent higher than when the pandemic started,” said IMA president Mark Denzler.

The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States