Support Manufacturing Renaissance Today!

Photo above: Jaylen Moore (left) and his co-worker, Isiah McMullen (right) at FosterWorks, both alumni of MR’s training programs, 12/15/22)

“Where is it written that America can’t lead the world once again in manufacturing? We’re proving it can.” President Biden said recently in a speech on December 6, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona, about the opportunity the CHIPS & Science Act makes possible for a dramatic expansion of the manufacturing innovation and jobs to the country.

Manufacturing Renaissance (MR) is ready for this moment! MR is running effective programs in communities, engaging employers and diverse networks of community-based leaders and service agencies, and bringing those voices and best-practices to public policy tables regionally and nationally to help ensure manufacturing is a driver for inclusive and equitable development in the communities that need it most. Donate today to help us continue to expand this important, ever-timely work! 

Serving Communities and Companies

MR’s Career Pathway Services programs are partnering with schools and social service agencies across Chicago to expose, inspire and prepare young people for career pathways in manufacturing.

Meet Jaylen. Jaylen and his mom, Takeyla, live in North Lawndale on Chicago’s West side. Jaylen went to a high school without a career and technical education program and Jaylen was not ready for college. He signed up for MR’s training program for youth his last semester of senior year and soon after graduation, with MR’s help, he had a career track job in a nearby, small manufacturing company, FosterWorks that makes high-end components for the lighting and other industries. “I like it,’ he says. “I’m learning on the job. I’m glad I have this opportunity.” His mom, Takeyla is happy with her son taking advantage of this opportunity. She told us, “Without a job, there’s a big chance of [Jaylen] getting into trouble in this community.”

Jaylen is the second youth FosterWorks hired from MR’s program over the last 18 months. “It’s so helpful to work with Manufacturing Renaissance because they provide an outside voice and can mentor young people who are placed at our company,” says Liz Kloster, Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer at FosterWorks. “Having that extra support really makes a difference.”  Since 2011 through 2022, MR has:

  • Partnered with over 150 small-medium manufacturers to organize hundreds of career and work exposure experiences; Served more than 476 youth with training leading to 720 internships and job shadows and 591 nationally-recognized industry credentials.
  • Of those who chose to pursue career-track jobs in manufacturing after training, MR assisted with: 182 full-time job placements averaging $18.55/hour plus benefits and with an average job placement retention of 15 months.

 Building Coalitions and Influencing Public Policy:

Good programs don’t exist in a vacuum. MR is leading regional and national efforts to expand the resources and relationships needed to sustain and expand the education, workforce, community, and economic development initiatives that make manufacturing an accessible and appealing pathway for good jobs and wealth creation opportunities for communities everywhere. MR calls this part of the work “building the manufacturing ecosystem.”

In the last two years, we played a leadership role in efforts that informed the White House and Congress leading to more inclusive language added to the CHIPS and Science Act.  In Illinois, we’ve come together through our diverse Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC), and its Ministers for Manufacturing committee, to meet directly with legislators and staff just last month about how to make the manufacturing sector a more active tool for community and economic development in the state. In the past year alone, CMRC leaders:

  • Organized over 135 community, elected official, and employer engagement meetings related to opportunities in manufacturing as a tool for community development. Most meetings were to cultivate support for a resolution in City Council​ introduced to support expanding training and education related to manufacturing in Chicago. Other meetings were to expand support for similar efforts at the County and State levels.
  • Organized or supported 16 manufacturing workforce development and related career education events.

We need your generous donation to sustain this work. Any contribution will help. Your support will help us reach more young people through our Career Pathway Services programs and reach more community and manufacturing partners through our Manufacturing Ecosystem Services programs. Together we can expand economic opportunity through careers and wealth creation and create a new normal in our communities for more inclusive, equitable development.

Happy Holidays to you and yours from the entire team at Manufacturing Renaissance!


Erica Swinney Staley

Executive Director

P.S. Want to learn more about how we are making a difference? Click here!