Decatur, Illinois — Governor JB Pritzker announced Kara Demirjian Huss’ appointment to the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB). Demirjian Huss brings over three decades of experience in manufacturing and marketing, making her a valuable addition to the IWIB team as manufacturing is one the state’s largest industry sectors, accounting for 30% of jobs across Illinois.
Currently serving as the Vice President and Global Marketing Director for TCCI Manufacturing, a global leader in compressor technology and electric vehicle component manufacturing, Demirjian Huss has demonstrated her expertise in driving business growth and fostering strategic partnerships. She is also responsible for leading workforce development initiatives and public affairs efforts for TCCI Manufacturing. Her dedication to promoting the growth and prosperity of Illinois’ manufacturing sector has earned her respect and recognition within the industry. “I am grateful for Governor Pritzker’s leadership and looking forward to advancing the board’s mission of creating a robust and inclusive workforce ecosystem in Illinois,” said Demirjian Huss.
The Illinois Workforce Innovation Board (IWIB) is a distinguished board comprising leaders from various sectors in the state, including government agencies, businesses, labor unions, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. Its primary focus is overseeing the development, implementation and modification of the Unified State Plan, convening all relevant programs, required partners and stakeholders, and providing oversight and strategic leadership for the state workforce development system. Through committees and task forces, representatives from public and private partner programs collaborate to generate policy recommendations aimed at strengthening the workforce system. The IWIB strives to align workforce, education, and economic development throughout the state, ultimately achieving improved outcomes for businesses and individuals.
Demirjian Huss is currently leading the facility re-development effort for TCCI Manufacturing—after being the first company in Illinois to receive the Reimagine Electric Vehicle Incentive Program. The $46M project is a unique public-private partnership with Richland Community College and the City of Decatur to establish the Illinois EV Innovation Hub—a three-tiered approach to advancing electrification under one roof. The facility will include EV Compressor Manufacturing, Climatic Center for Innovation & Research and the EV Workforce Training Academy.
Demirjian Huss has been instrumental in building programs and partnerships across the state in conjunction with Richland Community College and in collaboration with the Illinois Innovation Network institutions including University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois Springfield, Northern Illinois University, Illinois State University and Chicago State University. She has also played a vital role in establishing the EV Workforce Training Academy, which aims to bridge critical gaps in qualified green job applicants through degree-based programs, stackable certificates, credentials, apprenticeships, and COOP programs in the areas of advanced manufacturing, computer science, and CNC machining.
In addition to her expertise in workforce development, Demirjian Huss brings strategic marketing experience through her role as founder and President of DCC Marketing. Her data-driven mindset and strategic planning leadership have captured critical stakeholder data, insights, and perspectives, making her an invaluable asset to the board.
Demirjian Huss’s appointment to the IWIB, coupled with her extensive involvement in other keyboards throughout the state including the Illinois Manufacturers Association, Millikin University, The Will Group LLC, the Young President’s Organization (YPO), the Economic Development Corporation for Macon County and the Community Foundation for Decatur & Macon County, further enhances her ability to provide a strong viewpoint during the planning process.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board and contribute to the development of a thriving workforce in our state,” said Demirjian Huss. Her dedication, innovative approach, business acumen, and extensive network will undoubtedly accelerate the IWIB’s efforts and pave the way for new program plans that enhance positioning, activation, and growth. Human resources executive Chris Toppin and organized labor leader Stephen Lefaver were also appointed to the board.