Each year, the TREP board agrees upon a program of work that brings together the business and education communities to benefit today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce.  Recognizing that the partnerships, the relationships between the schools and the businesses are the highest priority, TREP’s program of work focuses upon programs that build or strengthen partnerships between education and business.  To that end, TREP offers programs for educators and students. The educator offerings are focused upon Smiling woman standin on the top step how business uses STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills to enable educators to bring the “real-world” applications and relevancy to CTE (Career or Technical Education) or science instruction.

Additionally, TREP champions programs oriented for students that enhance the school experience while building students’ skills in the following areas:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Perseverance
  • Applied S.T.E.M.

TREP programs include:

Career Success in the Global Economy Presentation

TREP created and will deliver a customizable classroom presentation that explains Will County and Grundy County’s employment strengths, its role in the global economy and how technology,  impact on careers for the Will and Grundy areas including the  skills needed to compete.  (Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skill development.)

Counselor Workshops

In partnership with the  Regional Office of Education, TREP hosts a workshop created for high school guidance counselors. The state education standards demands “college and career ready,” but readiness is more than a PARCC test score. This readiness requires a combination of academic attributes and skills with a plethora of non-cognitive “soft” skills. Moreover, different careers have different expectations for readiness—One size does NOT fit all.

Participants will receive 6.5 PD hours through ISBE, and a light breakfast and lunch are provided.

TREP Summer Internship Program

TRMA and TREP work together to facilitate a summer high school intern program for the “best and brightest students.” This partnering is because the TREP intern program creates a “louder voice for manufacturing” by:

  • Involving TREP’s education partners in the recruitment and screening process of students for manufacturing positions
  • Targeting high achieving students, whom typically are adept at using social media to post their position
  • Including parents along with the intern’s business contact at the concluding celebration dinner where the interns report on their experience

Be sure to check for the Summer 2022 intern offerings!

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Robotics EV3

Students design and build a robot to address a problem that is/was solved in manufacturing by robotics or automation. The business mentor guides the students to think creatively to solve problems using automation i.e., with the creation of a LEGO robot. (Typically a 6 week after school program at the middle school).

Making S.T.E.M. Relevant Graduate Course for Educators

Teachers have a special relationship with the subjects they teach. It is this affection and Smiling woman standin on the top stepappreciation that makes them want to share it with their students in rigorous and relevant ways. Each summer, with University of St. Francis, TREP coordinates resources to offer a 3-graduate hour course, for teachers and counselors to explore how science and math content matter is applied in the work world to further expand their ability to engage and motivate student learning.

Save the Date — July 18-22, 2022 is set for the next class to explore how S.T.E.M. content matter is applied in business.

This course uses the business community to showcase how S.T.E.M. concepts are applied in the workplace and focuses on the Industry Internet of Things (IoT),  AI with automation and the career changes through the pandemic.  Teachers will go to the businesses, tour the facilities and will have access to speak with technical staff members and executives, for the purpose of gaining real-world applications, lesson extensions, and lesson enhancements for the subjects they teach.

This summer we will explore how S.T.E.M. content matter is applied at:

  • Cresco Labs
  • DuPont
  • Bunge Loders Croklaan
  • Nouryon

Typical costs for a 3 hour credit graduate course are between $1400 – $3,500.  However, with TREP,  the total cost for this  3 graduate credit hours is only $400, or it can be taken for IBSE 37.5 ISBE Educator Licensure PD Hours by emailing Gina Korczak at  or calling  815-740-3743.

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education Robotics EV3

Students design and build a robot to address a problem that is/was solved in manufacturing by robotics or automation. The business mentor guides the students to think creatively to solve problems using automation i.e., with the creation of a LEGO robot. (Typically a 6 week after school program at the middle school).

Manufacturing Career Videos for students

TREP collected and organized career videos for high school students to explore manufacturing related careers organized into types:

  1. Real People Discussing Their Manufacturing Career Choice
  2. Manufacturers Highlighting In-Demand Technology Careers
  3. Cool Industry Related Videos that show the HOW and WHO


SAVE the DATE — MFG DAY 2022 is October 4th!

TREP is working with TRMA to create a louder voice for local manufacturing to develop an event that brings manufacturers, their science and technology, and the career pathways together for area high-school students. More information … CLICK HERE.

While our large MFG DAY 2021 Event is not possible.  TREP is working to find virtual opportunities to create the louder voice for manufacturing.  MFG DAY will return in the Fall of 2022. Check back for more information!

For pictures on MFG DAY 2019 … CLICK HERE.

Plant or Business Tours

TREP arranges class tours designed for career awareness or work-readiness opportunities. For teachers desiring relevant real-world applications for learning, our advanced manufacturing plants, distribution facilities and healthcare businesses provide real-world applications for most science topics. Teacher Tours can be arranged upon request.

Process Technology Initiative

A certification program for Process Operations Technicians resulted from the collaborative effort between Joliet Junior College and local petrochemical, chemical, and energy generating companies. TREP continues to participate in the roundtable of educators and company leaders to ensure the program provides current, relevant and in-demand job training skills.

Safety POSTER Competition


For the sixth year, students from TREP member middle and high schools were invited to create a poster that focuses on SAFETY—recognizing and eliminating safety hazards. The safety topics span health, PPE, driving, and COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Because of pandemic safety restrictions, the 2021  competition was slightly different.  To accommodate virtual classroom, the students directly submitted poster entries through an online form and the presentation of the awards and posters was done by the school staff.  However in a year of challenges, TREP recognized 19  high school students and 32 middle school students. Each recognized student received a certificate of achievement, a poster (full sized 16’x20″ poster), and the monetary gift.

TREP has created a Poster Gallery to display the winning posters and ENCOURAGES you to download and print any poster for display. TRMA proudly refreshes its wall art yearly from this competition, as do so many other facilities.

Click to see: 2022 High School Winner

Click to see: 2022 Middle School Winners

To download, double-click on the thumbnail sized picture to load a 8×10 PDF file. This file can be saved and printed in 16×20 poster size. If you need a file different format, please contact TREP.

The 2022 TREP Safety Competition made possible by the generous support of:

  • CITGO Lemont Refinery
  • Diversified CPC International
  • JM Printers
  • Joliet Junior College
  • Manhattan Mechanical Services
  • Meade
  • Nouryon
  • NRG
  • Starcon

Previous Year Winners:

2021 High School Winner
2021 Middle School Winners
2020 High School Winner
2020 Middle School Winners
2019 High School
2019 Middle School
2018 High School
2018 Middle School
2017 High school
2017 Middle school
2016 Winners

Speakers’ Bureau

TREP assists schools by securing speakers for their classrooms and other events. In an effort to address tomorrow’s work force, the speakers’ focus is limited to: manufacturing, distribution & healthcare careers, energy, math &science topics, or work-readiness.

Student Site Visits to provide Job Shadow Opportunities

New in 2022…TREP will pilot a new program, GROUP Job Shadowing. TREP businesses invite groups of students into their facility to understand the industry, meet with professionals, see the facility and become aware of the careers and pathways available. This small group job shadowing allows students to observe how an experienced employee does the job, understand the key deliverables expected from the job, and gain perspective about the other employees with whom the job interacts.

Benefits to students:

Benefits to employers:

Join our Partnership


TREP is first and foremost an education-business partnership. All of our initiatives and projects depend on our membership’s engagement with one another.

There is an interrelationship between good schools, good businesses and good communities.

Good Schools, Good Business, Partnership equals Great Community












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