May 2021
Dear Colleagues, Members, Supporters and Friends,

First, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there for all the seen and unseen work we do for those we love. I see you! Thank you reading this latest update from Manufacturing Renaissance. We are working hard to advance sustainable development anchored in manufacturing. We are unique in our approach to development: we are in the community serving youth (Career Pathway Services) and small-medium manufacturing companies (Economic Development), and we are at the policy tables advancing big ideas from decades of experience to help build thriving, more equitable communities (Policy & Advocacy).

On behalf of MR, I hope you find the following updates interesting and inspiring. We share stories about our newest board member, Montez King; the latest highlights of our youth programs; new partnerships and our effort to advance strong and equitable manufacturing policies in the U.S.; member updates and much more!

Join us in this work. We need your support to expand our impact and there are lots of ways to get more involved: learn more through our website and follow us on social media, become a member and join the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council, and donate to Manufacturing Renaissance today. Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to learn more.

Erica Swinney Staley
Executive Director
773-278-5418 x20
We are thrilled to welcome our newest Board Member, Montez King, Executive Director of the National Institute of Metalworking Skills. Montez has been a long time colleague and collaborator and we are looking forward to this next chapter of our work together.

Read this profile about what drives his work and leadership in the field manufacturing and training.
Spring Break Internships:
Teaming Up and Building Skills
This year, like usual we organized Spring Break Internships for Manufacturing Connect students. For the first time however, we adapted during this pandemic to provide online instead of in-person work experiences for youth. 25 students broke off into groups to work with three different Chicago-based companies. BSD Industries, Best Fruits and Nuts Company, both located on Chicago’s south side, and Schweet Cheesecake located on Chicago's west side. Participants worked on marketing projects to promote the products and practices of these local companies. Read more here.
9th-12th Graders! Join Us for a Virtual Trip to NASA!
On May 13th, we're inviting over 200 9th-12th graders from around Chicagoland to meet aerospace engineers leading exciting projects at NASA. Contact Leslye Long for more information or Register here!
Young Adults!
Paid Online Training Starts Soon!
On May 17th, we're starting our next Young Manufacturers Association (YMA) Manufacturing Training Program, a 10-12 week paid online training for young adults (aged 18-29). We are holding seats for residents living in Austin (Chicago's west side) and in the south suburbs of Chicago. Interviews underway! Contact Torres Hughes for more information.
Brandi S., participated in the Manufacturing Connect (MC) program as a high school student to get work experience and learn professionalism skills. She graduated in 2013 from Austin Polytechnical Academy with career goals of being a medical assistant. In the fall of 2013, Brandi registered for school at a local college with a major of medical assistant while working part-time at PayLess shoe store. School became challenging while having to manage family obligations and she found herself needing a full-time job. Brandi dropped out of college and came back to meet with the MC staff to inquire about permanent full-time jobs in manufacturing. Read more here.

We appreciate Brandi being one of our YMA leaders to help serve as an example to other young people on what the curved-road to success can look like!
Cook County Early Warning Network
Set up in 2020 to help small and mid-sized manufacturers in Cook County that are facing financial distress because of COVID-19. The program, funded by the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development in partnership with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, received a grant extension until September 2021. Since March, the Early Warning Network team has outreached to 521 companies with 44 companies who have expressed interest and are in process of being qualified for our services. Read more here.
New Partnership with the Black Business Association of Memphis!
The goal of Re/Cast is to provide advising services to companies that face ownership succession issues while cultivating BIPOC and worker entrepreneurs interested in ownership to keep manufacturing companies open in our communities. While working to expand the scope of our work in the Chicagoland area, we are excited for our new partnership with the Black Business Association of Memphis! Read more here.
The Manufacturing Renaissance Agenda: Shaping Industrial Policy in the U.S.
The movement for a stronger and more equitable manufacturing sector in this country is growing. It is being shaped by the Manufacturing Renaissance Agenda (MRA), a national coalition that is working to advance manufacturing policies on a national level. Partners in the MRA have had two successful meetings with senior White House economic advisors since early April. 
Manufacturing Renaissance is partnering with Progressive Democrats of America, the Democracy CollaborativeDemocracy Partners, The Century FoundationUIC’s Great Cities Institute and many other partners for this campaign to shape the direction of American industrial policy.  Read more here. Sign on here.
Industry & Inclusion National Cohort Wraps Up Year Long Convening
Manufacturing Renaissance and 7 other manufacturing workforce training providers wrapped up a year-long convening to explore, share and learn about practices and strategies for expanding and supporting racial diversity and inclusion in training programs and expanded access for communities-of-color into high-quality, career-track jobs in manufacturing. The cohort convened by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and The Century Foundation, Read more here.
Next General Membership Meeting JUNE 21, 3pm

The Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council is planning our next General Membership Meeting (open to the public) featuring Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congressman Danny Davis and other invited guests to report and discuss progress and insights on how the American Jobs Plan can support manufacturing and development in the Chicagoland area. More details to come!

Contact Erica Staley for more information.
Daley College
Two exciting updates from Daley College:

  1. Technology Works Scholarship: Earn a Basic Certificate in Welding, CNC Machining or Factory Automation. These classes will be offered over the summer and in the fall so that students can complete these certificates in one or two semesters. 
  2. National Coalition of Certification Centers National Signing Day: Event for students committing to their education in Adv. Manufacturing graduating from high school, completing Early College classes, or our Weekend Warrior program. Check out this video celebrating these inspiring people committing to careers in manufacturing.
Two exciting updates from Matot:
  1. Samantha Kolker, our first 5th generation Matot family employee, joined the company a few months ago as an Inside Sales Associate covering both the dumbwaiter and industrial product lines. As we enter our 133rd year of continuous family ownership in Chicago we are very proud to be onboarding the next generation. 
  2. Matot’s industrial damper business, Kelair Dampers, was recently awarded an order to manufacture 22 very large louver dampers for an OEM customer in Kansas. This order represents the single largest order Kelair has received following its acquisition by Matot nearly 4 years ago. We are excited to see growth in this division as our customers continue to challenge our engineering and production departments with ever greater size and complex damper designs. 
North Branch Works
Please join North Branch Works’ virtual Spring Fundraiser on May 20th at 6:30 p.m. The program includes a beer tasting with Revolution Brewing and features of dynamic local businesses such as MxD, Essanay Studio & Lighting, Bigane Paving, and Calihan Catering. For more information and to register, please go here.
Rest in Peace, Rest in Power
'Buzz' Palmer (farthest to left in photo), loving husband to Dr. Alice Palmer, CMRC Leadership Committee member, and step father to David Robinson, MR's External Relations Director, transitioned on April 11, 2021. A long-time community leader and activist, advisor to Harold Washington and co-founder of the Afro-American Patrolman's League, Buzz left an undeniable legacy in Chicago and around the world. Read more in his obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Manufacturing Renaissance has been advancing the potential for manufacturing to be the foundation of rebuilding our society and rebuilding communities like those on Chicago’s West Side. Over the last three years, Dan Swinney has been working on a paper—Towards a New Paradigm of Development that articulates our larger vision for a paradigm shift in our society and have offered descriptions of what we see as programmatic prototypes that demonstrate the potential of such a shift. Read more here.

Grant Award Recipient supporting MR's Career Pathways Services training, placements and supports for youth and young adults.
Impact Grant Award Recipient supporting MR's Career Pathways Services training, placements and supports for youth and young adults.
Grant Award Recipient from the ACT-Managed Funding program to provide manufacturing training and job placements for Austin youth as part of the Austin Quality of Life plan.