Dear Colleagues, CMRC Members, Supporters and Friends,

Happy Mfg Month! At Manufacturing Renaissance, every day is Mfg Day! Bursting into Fall, our team continues to collaborate and coordinate among a myriad of public-private partnerships to engage our youth, the faith community, employers, social service agencies and supporters of all kinds through manufacturing. All part of what we consider essential activities to expand the manufacturing ecosystem!

Below and on our website find this month's updates:

Last but not least, please take a moment to become a Manufacturing Renaissance Supporter today! To stay engaged, in the community and at the table to push for sustainable development anchored in manufacturing we need your support. Grants are no longer enough, all of us together can help build more equitable, sustainable, thriving communities. Thank you!

Erica Swinney Staley
Executive Director
773-278-5418 x20
Save the Date!
October 27, 3:00 - 4:30 PM CST
The CMRC presents an online panel and discussion on Manufacturing as a Strategy for Inclusion and Development featuring US Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves. Deputy Secretary Graves will give opening remarks and engage a panel including:
  • Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President
  • Vincent Williams, Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Rev. Timothy Wright III, United Church of Christ
  • Jim Piper, Matot, Inc.
  • Torres Hughes, Young Manufacturers Association

New Bill Proposes Major Reinvestment in Manufacturing Communities
August 27 - Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced HR5124 the Manufacturing Reinvestment Corporation Act in the House of Representatives proposing to support the expansion of "manufacturing renaissance councils" across the country to develop localized workforce and economic development oriented to the socially, racially inclusive expansion of the green economy. Manufacturing Renaissance has been sharing our near 40 years of lessons learned with a national coalition of policy leaders to inform this new legislation.

CMRC Hosts Ministers for Manufacturing Committee Meeting

On September 21, faith leaders in the region who are working with Manufacturing Renaissance came together to build the faith community’s support for manufacturing as a tool for social inclusion and sustainable community development. The gathering of the Ministers for Manufacturing Committee of the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC) addressed how local ministers can mobilize their communities on manufacturing issues including training, jobs, and ownership succession.

As a teenager on Chicago’s South Side in the 1970s, Rev. Anthony Haynes trained to be a minister at the African Methodist Episcopalian Church. Now, more than four decades later, he is serving as associate minister for the River Jordan Ministries on the city’s South Side. Meanwhile, Rev. Haynes has had a wide variety of experiences in the public and private sectors that have contributed to his perspective on the world. Rev. Haynes is chairman of the Ministers for Manufacturing Committee of the CMRC. He points to the positive role Manufacturing Renaissance and this committee can have in the community. “People need to be able to support themselves, their families, and be responsible,” he says. “This is a great avenue for that.” Read more here.
As a kid growing up west of Cleveland ”My dad would tell these stories of kids having great success finding their niche, jobs, careers, or opportunities at universities,” says Piper, who is president of Matot, a Bellwood, IL company that designs, builds, and installs custom dumbwaiters and lifts. 

This summer, Piper joined the CMRC Leadership Committee. Piper emphasizes the importance of the Renaissance’s work to promote inclusion in manufacturing. “It goes without saying that areas with the highest level of economic distress are places where we have to create opportunities,” he says. “Manufacturing has to be inclusive of all populations, genders, races, and education levels.”

Congratulations to Reggie Greenwood and team on the 4343 Ascending House Business Incubator!
Reggie Greenwood of the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator at Governors State University was featured in a Daily Southtown article announcing the new space in the southern suburbs of Chicago, a space first of its kind to support the expansion of e-commerce in the Chicagoland area.
Upcoming Mfg Day Events in South Suburban Chicagoland!
Join Governors State University along with the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation (CSEDC) & OAI, Inc for their annual Manufacturing Day information sessions. There will be 4 sessions, 45 minutes each on October 5th and 6th. Link for virtual conference.
Welcome Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center to the CMRC!
IMEC, a long time leader in providing technical assistance to manufacturers, works closely with its clients to plan critical business improvements in the areas of Leadership, Strategy, Customer Engagement, Operations, and Workforce. We're glad to have them as a critical resource in the CMRC network! Latest from Executive Director David Boulay here.
Welcome Prairie State College to the CMRC!
A great south suburban Chicagoland area resource for credit and non-credit career programs. Glad to welcome Prairie State College into the network!
Welcome to St. John MBC of Joliet to the CMRC! Rev. Herbert Brooks Jr., Will County Board Member, is doing his part to support the expansion of career programs in Will County. Glad to have him as part of the network!
Welcome to Dr. Tanesha D. House to the CMRC! Dr. House, Senior Principal Consultant of InsightFuelEd, is no stranger to our work, but we welcome her making it official by becoming a CMRC member!
Welcome Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council to the CMRC! We are excited to have Vincent Williams, President and CEO, join our esteemed panel of speakers with US Dept. of Commerce Deputy Secretary Graves on October 27th.
2020-2021 Youth Program Highlights
What a year! Career Pathway Services consists of two program models: Manufacturing Connect (serving high school seniors) and Young Manufacturers Association (serving young adults 18-29). Because of the pandemic recruitment was a challenge and trainings were held online but the team's continued persistence showed up in positive outcomes of our work. Highlights:
  • Career Awareness Outreach and Recruitment: Our team organized career exposure and training opportunities in which 351 youth and young participated in remote activities.
  • Industry Credentials: Over the year, 84% of our trainees successfully earned an industry credential from the National Institute of Metalworking Skills.
  • Getting the Job, Keeping the Job: Program graduates who chose to pursue a career-track job in manufacturing are retaining the job for an average of 14 months earning $16.11/hour plus benefits.

Mandrell Davis heard about the Young Manufacturers Association (YMA) from a pastor in a local church near where he lives in south suburban Robbins. Before he heard about YMA, Davis says, he had “no clue” about this kind of program. Now, YMA has helped lead Davis to a full-time job with Berry Global, a plastics company in Alsip. He’s a stacker for the company, and his job includes operating a machine that helps load and unload the company’s products. Davis remembers a phone conversation he had with Torres Hughes, Program Coordinator for Manufacturing Renaissance, when he first learned about YMA. “I always liked to learn how to do hand-on things,” says Davis, who graduated from Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights. “When I talked to Torres over the phone, I thought ‘I want to do this.’” 
Photo of Mandrell Davis, YMA training participant 2021 from his home in south suburban Robbins.
Young People! Learn About Careers in Manufacturing: Virtual Fieldtrips October 21st
The Manufacturing Connect team is gearing up for the new school year. First up is Mfg Day! A great opportunity to learn more about careers in manufacturing virtually visiting one of two local companies, Freedman Seating and H.M. Manufacturing. Learn more about the wide variety of careers possible in manufacturing and consider signing up for our program that guarantees a jump start to your career! Contact Leslye Long, 773-278-5418 x 30 for more information.
Carmen Curet vividly remembers her first job: As a high school junior, she started working full-time in various capacities for a pediatrician on Chicago and Wolcott avenues in Chicago. “I was a receptionist, did medical billing, I even learned to give injections. Having that job helped me help my family,” says Curet, who grew up in a poor family with eight kids in the city’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. 

The experience also had an impact on how Curet sees the world of work, challenges that young people face, and how to create jobs for people in underserved communities. Curet is the executive director of the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, which has helped fund Manufacturing Renaissance’s Manufacturing Connect, a nationally recognized career pathways program. She is also the newest member of the board of directors for Manufacturing Renaissance, joining the board this summer. “I see the commitment and determination of Manufacturing Renaissance,” she says. She adds that her connection to the Renaissance reflects her own personal story. Read more here.
Welcome to the Team! MR's New Director of Development, Joel Mangers!
We are very so pleased to have Joel join the MR team! Joel brings 20 years experience in fundraising, event planning and programming. He brings a fresh perspective and the roll-up-your-sleeves kind of enthusiasm to help MR expand our reach and our impact. Joel is eager to get to know our network, please reach out and say hello!

NY Times article by Patrick Sisson published September 25, 2021

Gov. Pritzker Announces $44 Million Investment in Workforce Training for Jobseekers and At-Risk Youth September 23, 2021, Gov. Pritzker announces the formation of Commission of Workforce Equity and Access. MR's Erica Staley, MR Board Member Victor Dickson and CMRC Co-Chair Mollie Dowling appointed to the commission to help the State of IL improve its workforce development system to better serve low-income and communities of color.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, click here.