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Twin Cities Talk: City, Development Corp. launches Sterling Works

Published: Monday, April 1, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 1, 2013 12:57 p.m. CDT

STERLING – Mayor Skip Lee hopes a new Facebook page to advertise job openings will prove wrong those who say there aren’t any opportunities in the area.

The initiative springs from results of the city’s community perception survey.

“The idea was this: There’s a perception in the survey that there are no jobs in Sterling,” Lee said. “As a result, if I don’t believe there are jobs in Sterling, then what am I going to do? I’m going to look and go where there are jobs.”

Lee and other leaders discovered residents weren’t aware of job openings or where to find them. So the city teamed up with the Greater Sterling Development Corp. to launch Sterling Works, an online listing of available professional and skilled jobs. The postings can be found by searching for Greater Sterling Development Corp. on Facebook.

The idea was to find a way to “hook people up” with such opportunities, Lee said.

Heather Sotelo, GSDC’s executive director, contacted local manufacturers to find out where the job openings are.

A recent Sterling Works posting listed an opening for a design engineer and welders at Astec Mobile Screens. Sterling Steel is looking for an environmental manager and an electrical engineer. Wahl Clipper also is looking for a handful of engineers.

“There are significant jobs here that don’t require bachelor’s degrees but they pay very well; they’re skilled,” Lee said.

The job openings also are being sent to Sterling High School graduates across the country, in the hope the jobs could bring them back to Sterling. It’s also geared toward local alumni in the area looking for employment, according to the city’s website, Lee said.

More information about Sterling Works can also be found at, the city’s website.

“It’s the beginning of a major emphasis on workforce development in this area,” Lee said.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Kiran Sood covers government and happenings in Sterling and Rock Falls. She can be reached at or at 800-798-4085, ext. 529.

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