Hiding in plain sight: how manufacturing can save Chicago

Industrial land sitting fallow. Jobs sitting unfilled. Successful businesses with no succession plan. Young people without a clear path to the middle class. One solution? Rebuild our manufacturing sector in a way that includes all the zip codes in our region—inclusion & industry 4.0 Chicago is in an existential crisis: increasing income inequality, rebellion, a 30-year […]

The jobs are here. Skilled workers aren’t.

Unlike the ‘70s, today’s manufacturing jobs are more robots and tech than dirty assembly lines. There’s room for growth if we can build a pipeline of skilled workers. Here’s how closing the skills gap can turn a crisis into an opportunity. By Dan Swinney, Manufacturing Renaissance This is the second blog in a series on about confronting […]

When the boss leaves, an opportunity for sharing the wealth equitably

Manufacturing businesses are overwhelmingly owned by white people, many of whom struggle to pass along their enterprises to family. But when these companies are acquired by employees or Black and Latinx men and women, it’s an opportunity to narrow the racial wealth gap By Dan Swinney, Manufacturing Renaissance As you know from my last two blogs, […]

That vacant lot? Here’s its potential

Building vacant

Where there are overgrown weeds and vacant buildings across Chicago, there’s an opportunity for rebuilding our manufacturing sector—the far better option for communities than parking lots or residential displacement By Dan Swinney, Manufacturing Renaissance A by-product of disinvestment and deindustrialization in inner cities has been the expansion of industrial land available as factories have closed.  […]

A stable job for those exiting the criminal justice system

construction manufacturers

In 2013, the Chicago Community Trust convened a small meeting of workforce training providers including Dan Swinney from Manufacturing Renaissance (MR), Diane Williams of the Safer Foundation, Ray Prendergast of the Jane Addams Resource Corporation, and Brenda Palms Barber of the North Lawndale Employment Network to discuss the possibility of developing training programs that could lead to family-supporting jobs for men and women […]

Chicago needs an ambitious industrial policy — “Inclusion & Industry 4.0”

Chicago needs an ambitious industrial policy—Inclusion & Industry 4.0. Today, manufacturing is 11% of Chicago’s gross domestic product (GDP)—about the same as in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, our competitors (and potential partners) in Germany and Spain maintain manufacturing as 25% of GDP. What is to be done in shaping an industrial policy that benefits all of our communities—particularly on […]