The Detroit Manufacturing Renaissance Council is making substantial progress as a strategic coalition of determined partners who are committed to a thriving and robust manufacturing sector in Detroit. Now in it’s second full year as an organized committee, the DMRC is on a path to truly making a name for itself in the region.

William Jones, Executive Director of FOCUS:Hope served as Chairman of the DMRC during its first year of operations. In his tenure as Chair, William played a key role in helping to move the body from an interested group to a coalition of the willing; that is, a strategic partnership working collaboratively to advance the mission of the DMRC in word and in practice. Under William’s leadership the DMRC expanded to include representatives from government as well as new companies and non-profit organizations. Additionally, William hosted the first public event of the DMRC that included British journalist Peter Marsh. Finally, William helped to secure the group’s first grant of $50,000 from the UAW. As the DMRC enters its next stage of development, William will assume a general member role in order to commit more time to his ever-growing schedule. Although William has stepped down as chair he remains a fully committed member of the DMRC. We are deeply appreciative or his service.

Barbara Whittaker, who has been a member of steering committee since its genesis, has agreed to serve as Chairperson of the DMRC. Barbara brings extensive experience in manufacturing from her corporate days at GM. Barbara is well known in the manufacturing world of Detroit as a trusted advisor and a person of deep integrity. We are excited to have Barbara pick up the mantle of leadership.

During her first days as Chairperson, Barbara has been instrumental in helping to advance the DMRC’s first programmatic initiative, a partnership with Manufacturing Renaissance and Detroit Public Schools that shows potential to lead to the establishment of a manufacturing training program within a Detroit Public School with potential to scale. This development is great news and has only manifested as a result of the strong partnership and active members within the DMRC. Thanks to the determination of those in this effort the DMRC is poised to be at the table of a major restructuring of CTE in Detroit. In the coming days and weeks the DMRC will continue to work closely with Emergency Manager’s office and Manufacturing Renaissance to develop a proposal for consideration by the Governor’s Office for implementation of the program.

In summation, the outlook is promising for the DMRC. Although still in its infancy stage the DMRC shows great promise for maturity in the workforce and community development space.

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3411 W. Diversey Ave, Suite 10

Chicago, IL 60647


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