On Wednesday, June 19, 2019 the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council hosted its meeting at Daley College Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Center. These meetings are open to the public, but serve our members to gather, network and learn something new about what is happening in manufacturing and community development. The Council lives off the idea and commitment of all its members that manufacturing can play a role for revitalizing communities and providing good living wages. 

The meeting had a full agenda that covered updates from the different committees work, welcomed new members like Signature Bank and the Technology and Manufacturing Association, and had two in-depth presentations.The first one was given by Mike Moriarty, from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, who just returned from San Sebastian, Spain, where he attended the International Congress on Vocational Training. The conference was organized by the Basque Country, which is a region in Northern Spain, that is internationally known for its career technical education system.

The conference focused on cooperation, cooperation between state parties, educational institutions, employers and other organizations. The main takeaway is that advanced technology and Industry 4.0 will cause an up-skilling and re-skilling of the workforce. Automation can cause a loss of jobs, but there is a solution to it: sync education to the real-world problems so that students are prepared for the uncertainty of work. An effective industrial policy can ensure automation will increase US market share in the global economy and employment in manufacturing. 

Mike described the conference as “very futuristic, but you see how manufacturing and sustainability are fully integrated”.

Mike’s presentation builds on CMRC’s effort to raise the discussion on Inclusion and Industry 4.0. In April, we organized a conference around the question how to ensure Chicago’s communities and inner city youth participate in the technological advancements taking place in manufacturing, engineering, IT etc. 

For this reason, we also hosted the meeting at Daley’s new MTEC facility. We need to ensure career technical education and workforce development programs are accessible and grow on the resources already existing.

"Folks, we need to be creative. We need to open our doors to the community. We need to get to the next generation of talent"