Last Wednesday we held our Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council membership meeting at Freedman Seating. About 20 organizations were present and the agenda covered programmatic updates, our new membership engagement plan and a panel discussion.
The panel themed Race and Ownership in Manufacturing included Dr. Teresa Cordova, UIC Great Cities Institute Executive Director, Dr. Byron Brazier, pastor at Woodlawn's Apostolic Church of God, Dr. Harry Alston, Safer Foundation VP Strategic Planning & Development, and Colin Cosgrove, Laystrom Manufacturing President. The panel, monitored by our Director of Communications and Organizing, covered a broad range of questions, beginning with whether diversity brings profitability. Austin Weekly News covered the meeting as well.
Our membership engagement plan was also well received. The plan was introduced to create a stronger and more proactive synergy between the work carried out by the different members and committees of the Council with the overall mission of the CMRC. For example, our aim is to have members actively participate in each others' programs and initiatives such that we move towards a further integrated infrastructure between educational institutions, training providers, manufacturing companies and social supports.
Special guest at the meeting was Mr. Jorge Fernandez, Basque Delegate to the United States, who provided a brief overview of the activity being carried out in the Basque Country, emphasizing the similarities and differences with Chicago. Mr. Fernandez was in Chicago for a couple of days visiting our programs and engaging with our closest partners, such as the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation and Daley College, where we got a tour of the soon to come manufacturing facility. We are looking forward to formalizing this partnership as the opportunities to learn and exchange best practices are many. The Basque Country is an autonomous community in the northern region of Spain. It is well known for its cooperatives model and for being at the cutting edge of education and manufacturing.