Career Pathway Services

Expose, inspire, prepare and support youth and young adults for career pathways in manufacturing. 

Expose, inspire, prepare and support young people to pursue career pathways in manufacturing.

1) Manufacturing Connect (MC, in-school youth, 9th – 12th grades)
2) Young Manufacturers Association (YMA, young adults, 18 – 29)
3) Instructors Apprenticeship for Advanced Manufacturing (IAAM, Teachers)

Manufacturing Connect (MC) is a nationally recognized career pathways program for teens.

MC exposes, inspires and prepares in-school youth, ages 14-18,  for careers in manufacturing. MC creates and expands the linkages between communities, social service agencies, schools and the manufacturing sector benefiting our youth participants and local industry. Learn more about our career pathways programming including latest results in our latest Program Summary.

Enjoy our virtual field trip videos available to 9th – 12th grade students interested in STEAM (advanced manufacturing, innovative design, and other Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math fields). Check out more videos on YouTube.

For more information, contact Leslye Long, Assistant Program Director, 773-278-5418 ext 30 or email.

Established in 2016, The Young Manufacturers Association (YMA) serves as both a network and a program for young adults, aged 18-29, who are pursuing careers in manufacturing, in-between jobs, in training or interested in starting a career in manufacturing.

As a network, YMAers support one another as peers through training, transition into permanent employment, professional and life skills development, and balancing personal and work life dynamics. YMA organizes regular meetings and social events for its members, providing services on an as-needed basis, including career coaching, wrap-around supports, employer liaison to help troubleshoot issues that come up at work, and technical training.

Together, the YMA network of over 75 members across the South and West side of Chicago, is serving the untapped talent and potential that young adults represent to their communities and their current or future employers.  See our results in our latest Program Summary.  

Thank you Austin Coming Together and the Austin Community Hub. Watch our interview with ACT’s HUB 101 HERE

To join or learn more:

For more information, contact Leslye Long, Asst. Program Director, 773-278-5418 x 30 or email

Instructors Apprenticeship for Advanced Manufacturing

Training the next generation of instructors who our technically, pedagogically and culturally capable.

Chicagoland needs more machining instructors capable of effectively teaching in high schools, community colleges, incumbent training programs, and other adult training programs. 

In partnership, with the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation (CTUF) Quest Center, IAAM is a part-time, year-round program that features 3 training elements: 

  1. Pedagogical Training: provided by the Quest Center for the components focused on teaching curriculum related to cultural competence, instructional technique, and classroom management.

  2. Technical Training: Apprentices taught by Manufacturing Renaissance staff using the Richard J. Daley MTEC training facility learn the technical skills needed to earn up to 5 NIMS credentials.

  3. Career and Technical Education as a Tool for Community Development: A series of 4 workshops taught by Manufacturing Renaissance staff provide orientation and context for why and how a machine shop teacher is a critical stakeholder in the work to develop communities.

Want to learn more?

This program is not currently in operation. For more information, contact Erica Staley, Executive Director, 773-278-5418 x 20 or email