APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The CLCR commits to replicate the Manufacturing Renaissance model in two additional cities as part of the National Manufacturing Renaissance Campaign (NMRC). The NMRC was recently formed by several national and state organizations including the CLCR, the Manufacturing Institute, the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, the Society for Manufacturing Engineers, the California Teachers Association, the National Urban League, and others. CLCR, in partnership with the NMRC leadership team and national network, will initiate and develop replication projects in the additional cities.
The CLRC will identify six cities that have a viable and diverse manufacturing base, as well as champions in business, labor, government, community, and educators that have the ability and commitment to forge a common partnership around the objectives of the NMRC. The CLRC will then select two of these six cities to implement the replication projects. In these two cities, the CLRC will provide initial staffing to form an interim steering committee, executive committee, and project committees around the key program areas; develop an operating plan; and secure national and local funding. The programmatic objectives will include:
-Implementing the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System in the post-secondary education system.
-Replicating the Austin Polytech model in a local school to ensure students receive nationally recognized industry credentials as well as a diploma. The school will provide pre-engineering and machining courses as well as standard high school courses and provide internship opportunities in partnership with local manufacturing firms.
-Creating a local Manufacturing Works (MW) initiative to meet the labor market needs of local manufacturing companies. MW serves as an effective intermediary in efficiently identifying and recruiting skilled employees to fill specific jobs at local manufacturing companies. MW gains a very specific knowledge of the exact skills needed to fill a particular job, and matches those needs with a particular individual. The MW interview-to-hire ratio is 1.25. If a company needs to hire 10 employees, they only have to interview 12.5. Additionally, CLRC will explore ways to increase market diversification of local companies, and change the image of manufacturing in the region from that of a dying or weak sector to that as the anchor sector of the future economy.
These local initiatives will be guided the NMRC leadership team. The new local projects will become integrated into the larger national effort as well.
The entire effort will be evaluated by a third-party team to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the levels of participation in the partnership; the number of students securing employment in manufacturing companies; the performance of the secondary and post-secondary education programs and achievement of credits, diplomas, degrees, and credentials; and the level of investment in the initiatives by manufacturing companies. As in Chicago and San Francisco, the CLRC expects these local projects to demonstrate the broad support for and viability of a renewed commitment to building a highly productive and innovative national manufacturing economy and a foundation for rebuilding communities.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
-Conduct environmental scans for the six replication sites including a profile of the local manufacturing economy and identify local leaders that can build a partnership.
-Raise the funding necessary for the development of the demonstration sites.
-Select two of the six cities as replication sites and appoint an interim steering committee.
-Identify and secure a third-party evaluation firm and start evaluation process as outlined above.
-Develop operating plans with the local steering committees including program initiatives, organizational development, and fundraising.
-Initiate fundraising from local and national sources.
-Form executive, project, and fundraising committees.
-Launch initiatives in post-secondary education with the Manufacturing Institute in a local community college.
-Form development committee for Austin Polytech replication.
-Create and staff ManufacturingWorks.
-Expansion of local Manufacturing Renaissance Councils and company support and involvement for program initiatives.
-Launch Manufacturing Institute Credentialing System in second community college.
-Start a new school or convert an existing school to the Austin Polytech approach.
-Expand ManufacturingWorks to additional companies.
-Implement aggressive fundraising efforts to recruit federal and local government, foundation, and other private support for the Campaign and MRC replication efforts.
-Increase company, labor, and community partners with local Renaissance Councils.
-Hiring and training of staff.
-Meetings with key stakeholders.
-Monitoring and evaluation.
Over the last 40 years, the United States has faced dramatic changes in its industrial sector and in industrial communities. In the 1970s through 1990s, the U.S. faced massive deindustrialization due to a variety of factors, resulting in deep poverty, particularly in urban centers. In the last 10-15 years, the off-shoring of jobs that are low skilled has resulted in a loss of competitive advantage in manufacturing to economies in the developing world. American companies have shifted to high value-added work but have been unable to find an adequately skilled workforce to allow them to fully compete in the global economy. Today the U.S. faces the paradox of having 13 million people unemployed and 3 million jobs unfilled, particularly those jobs requiring high skills and STEM education. Filling these jobs alone would reduce the national unemployment rate from over 9 percent to 6.5 percent.
To help solve these problems, the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC) was formed in 2005 and created Austin Polytech, a public high school that is educating part of the next generation of leaders in all aspects of manufacturing. This school on Chicago's West Side has 65 manufacturing companies as partners, 380 students, and is committed to rebuilding the surrounding community. In preparation for careers and obtaining a college education, students strive to receive nationally recognized industry credentials, as well as a diploma, taking pre-engineering and machining courses in addition to standard high school courses. Recently, the school was accredited by National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) and 89 students earned 125 NIMS credentials.
The CMRC has also been engaged in reforming manufacturing programs in the Chicago community college system and other initiatives to strengthen Chicago's manufacturing sector. One such program is ManufacturingWorks, an initiative to assist manufacturers in quickly identifying, training, and hiring appropriately skilled workers. Over the last two years, the Manufacturing Renaissance model has been replicated in the San Francisco Bay Area (BAMRC). With the assistance of the Manufacturing Institute, the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System is being implemented in the post-secondary education system in the East Bay, and there is an effort to apply the Austin Polytech model at McCymonds High School in West Oakland.
The national Manufacturing Renaissance Council (MRC) movement continues to welcome more partners to its regional and national collaborations. Financial support is needed to meet the needs of field staff, technical assistance, and many related cost items.
Manufacturing Renaissance and the regional MRCs offer their expertise in workforce and economic development to similar groups. MR's Polytechnical Model of Education, Austin Manufacturing Innovation Park, Austin Manufacturing Training Center program for adults, and Return Advantage program that trains prison returnees for work are all models for replication elsewhere.