August 2021 Newsletter


At the end of July, President Biden proclaimed the week of July 26th “Made in America Week,” saying, “To build our economy back better, we must have an industrial strategy based on public investment in new technologies, including the domestic production of clean energy goods, critical medical supplies, and the innovative industries of the future. We must prioritize the creation of high skill, high value jobs that empower workers and pay family-supporting wages. We must reject short-termism, offshoring, and a race to the bottom. That is why my Administration is committed to using Made in America policies that give America’s workers and companies the tools they need to compete and lead globally for decades to come.” Read the full announcement here.

This proclamation came at the same time as the release of UMA’s federal policy agenda and our Industry & Inclusion 4.0 project report, as well as our partner, The Century Foundation’s, Industry and Inclusion Blueprint for Action. All together, these documents outline recommendations for policy makers, as well as community and industry leaders, on how to create strategies for education and training, capital access, land use, and entrepreneurial ecosystem building that fit the needs of 21st century manufacturing. UMA has been a long-time advocate for manufacturing as a community wealth-building strategy. We also acknowledge that without the right interventions in place, benefits that manufacturing confers may not reach the most marginalized groups who could gain the most from the sector’s opportunities. We are encouraged to see the federal government’s continued commitment to providing support for the very interventions already found in the UMA network.

Also in this newsletter you’ll find our next two Industry & Inclusion profiles of MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network) and Manufacturing Renaissance. And if you missed some of our summer events — check out the takeaways and recordings of past UMA events on the intersection of faith-based organizations and manufacturing, as well as the release of our federal policy agenda in partnership with Next City.

Thank you, as always, for being a part of the movement to grow more equitable economies through manufacturing. If you have news you would like to share with the UMA community please send us a message and let us know what you are working on!

In partnership,
The UMA Team

Research and Programming News

As part of the Industry & Inclusion 4.0 Project, UMA interviewed cohort members and their partners to gather background information and details about how they create and deliver programs. From these discussions UMA generated Organizational Profiles for each of the eight cohort members which include a technical description — a snapshot of each workforce development organization — and personal profiles — stakeholder interviews which provide a deeper understanding of the relationships that exist between the workforce development organization and the communities and employers they serve.

Below are excerpts from two of our cohort member profiles. You can find all the profiles on our website!

In 2017, The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) launched a new workforce development program: Early College, Early Career (ECEC). ECEC adapts European-style manufacturing apprenticeships to Ohio schools, providing 9th and 10th graders exposure to careers and opportunities in manufacturing and 11th and 12th graders opportunities to take college classes, to earn manufacturing certifications, to work in paid internships, and to get professional development and soft skills training. ECEC fits under one of MAGNET’s three main tracks of programming: Growth Services, Workforce Development, and Start Up Services. MAGNET is a nonprofit consulting group who, for over 30 years, has helped Northeast Ohio manufacturers grow their businesses through hands-on consulting, engineering assistance, and worker training programs. MAGNET collaborates with manufacturing CEOs, governments, community leaders, and educators to solve problems and build opportunities. MAGNET is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, which supports small- and medium-sized manufacturers across the U.S.

The development of ECEC started in 2015. Eight companies, many of which have an executive presence on MAGNET’s board, put together research on ways to grow manufacturing in the region, create a workforce, help manufacturers recruit and retain employees, and establish a long-term solution to close the skills gap. The other component of the research was how to focus on youth, especially those still in high school. The research pointed toward the opportunity that lies in youth apprenticeships and early exposure to manufacturing. This decision was highly influenced by the board chair from Germany who had extensive experience with the industry apprenticeship programs. The board took the research’s recommendations and made them a priority. After two years of planning, MAGNET launched ECEC with eight host companies.

Read the full MAGNET profile here!

Manufacturing Renaissance (MR) supports youth and young adults in the Chicago Metropolitan area (Chicagoland) via multiple programmatic areas: Policy and Advocacy, Economic Development, and Workforce Development. Manufacturing Connect and Young Manufacturers Association — two workforce programs that fit under the title of Career Pathway Services — together provide training, preparation, and support to pursue and persist in advanced manufacturing careers. Beyond the training-based programs, MR focuses on network building with employers and social service agencies to create a supportive ecosystem to increase job resiliency and interest in career development.

MR’s training programs emerged as a result of research completed in 2000 exploring the changes in the manufacturing sector and public education systems. Analysis showed that in Chicago youth of color, especially Black and Latinx, would have the most to gain from training and educational opportunities linked to today’s advanced manufacturing sector. Research illustrated that beyond entry level jobs, opportunities in management and ownership of manufacturing companies could be a strategic vehicle for creating wealth and expanding equity in Black/Latinx communities across the Chicagoland area. This research, and programmatic response, was built on a long history of work in supporting manufacturing jobs going back to MR’s founding in 1982.

In response to the research, initial programming was designed to be embedded in a public high school setting. Early successes and lessons learned, paired with struggles to find support amidst changing administrations and agendas, led to a shift in strategies in 2019 to the model MR uses today: a community-based program in partnership with social service agencies and manufacturers across Chicago.

Read the full Manufacturing Renaissance profile here!

News from the Community

Application to participate in this years Detroit Design Jam is open to anyone in the Detroit area!

Design Jam: Detroit 2021 — Adaptive Apparel & Accessories

Calling all manufacturers, makers, limb loss community members, innovators, entrepreneurs, designers, students, problem solvers, design faculty, business coaches, recreational athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts!!! Come brainstorm and prototype new adaptive active apparel and accessories for people in the limb loss community.

This two-part event will take place virtually on Friday, September 10 and in person on Saturday, September 11, as part of the 11th annual Detroit Month of Design. All appropriate safety protocols will be observed and enforced.

Please share your news with us! If you have something you would like UMA and our network to know about, please contact Eva, UMA’s Community Leader to share details to include in next month’s newsletter.

What We’re Reading

UMA Webinar Takeaways
Manufacturing’s Emerging Partners: Faith-Informed Organizations Supporting Employment and Entrepreneurship

This conversation brought together David Robinson of Manufacturing Renaissance in Chicago, Illinois; Dan Meyer of Nehemiah Manufacturing in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Brianna Schultz of Manufacturing Works in Cleveland, Ohio. Elmer Moore of Scale Up Milwaukee moderated a discussion on how building bridges between faith organizations and manufacturers creates opportunities for living-wage incomes and inclusive workplaces with often marginalized communities.

Read our full set of takeaways and watch the recording.

UMA Webinar Takeaways
Centering Equity in Our Federal Strategy for Urban Manufacturing

As American cities work to rebuild more inclusive and resilient economies, urban manufacturing can provide an anchor for equitable community development. Manufacturing creates quality jobs that foster economic well-being by providing living-wage incomes and opportunities for career mobility. The challenge, however, is making sure that people of color are able to connect to opportunities in the manufacturing sector across a continuum of positions from entry-level jobs to ownership opportunities. Policymakers and urban manufacturing practitioners must reengineer policy and practice for workforce and industrial development to leverage the sector as a tool for racial and economic equity in our cities.

The panel discussion featured Livia Lam, Senior Vice President of Federal Relations at Strategies 360; Miquela Craytor, Executive Director of the Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Council at New York City’s Department of Small Business Services; and Stephen Tucker, inaugural President & CEO of Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo, New York. Mekaelia Davis, Program Director of the Inclusive Economies program at the Surdna Foundation, and Katy Stanton, Programming and Operations Director of Urban Manufacturing Alliance, offered opening remarks. NextCity contributor Emily Nonko moderated the discussion.

Read our full set of takeaways and watch the recording.

Support UMA

Help UMA by spreading the word about our work. Please share our newsletter and follow us on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Medium, and LinkedIn — and visit our website.

Since 2015, UMA has grown to encompass 900+ members in more than 200 cities — and counting. Whether you’re a city council member, an urban planner, the executive director of a kitchen incubator, or a small artisan jewelry maker, UMA’s goal is to design a network based on your feedback, expertise, and questions about the future of the industry. Your individual tax-deductible contribution will empower us to bring our members together to learn from one another (online and in person), to tell stories showing the value of manufacturing to a city’s economy, and to document and replicate promising practices with city-based partners. Make a donation today!



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