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New coalition aims to build workforce, improve racial equality in manufacturing

July 09, 2020

A new coalition funded by the Lumina Foundation and driven by manufacturing experts from across the country has formed to help solve the recruitment challenge and build a more racially inclusive future for manufacturing. The Urban Manufacturing Alliance teamed up with The Century Foundation to launch Industry and Inclusion 4.0. It is focused on developing partnerships with employers, educational institutions, and community groups, and deploying training models anchored by industry-recognized credentials, while focusing on how to improve chances of success for a new more diverse workforce. Work that has already started ranges from the services workforce development organizations can offer companies behind the scenes to the training they already offer to young adults in their communities.

The eight manufacturing leaders in the coalition include MAGNET Cleveland; the Jane Addams Resource Corp. in Chicago; LIFT in Detroit; Manufacturing Renaissance in Chicago; Menomonee Valley Partners in Milwaukee; MxD in Chicago; Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo; and WRTP/BIG STEP in Milwaukee.

The coalition will focus on solving workforce challenges in manufacturing through measures such as promoting training programs as a means to a good paying job and adopting a “learning and effectiveness” paradigm that harnesses cultural and personal diversity as a source of strength to take in the sale and design of products, interactions with suppliers, and the recruitment of workers.