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MR's April Newsletter: The Pandemic Issue

Check out our latest newsletter! Greetings Colleagues and Friends, As the entire world grapples with the myriad of challenges in response to the pandemic, Manufacturing Renaissance hopes each of you in our community are remaining safe, healthy and in excellent spirits. Our thoughts are with you. We are grateful to bring you this special edition. We hope the extraordinarily honest and often, hopeful, expressions presented herein by our colleagues reminds you that you are not alone and that we are resilient, resourceful, and that together, we will work our way through this crisis. We applaud you all for all you do. Sincerely, David Robinson Managing Editor

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Manufacturing Connect Participants

James Nnabuihe "As the only one of my siblings who hasn't moved on to college, I've just had a great time being together with my entire family like the good ole times. Even though the outside world is dangerous and online school has been a pain, being holed up with people that love each other is always worth appreciating." Jada Miles (2nd from left) "I think my biggest challenge is being distracted and tired because I feel like I'm not really learning anything by having my classes online. I think I'll be better if I was actually in a classroom." Dasia Richards "Online learning has been really hard and it's stressing me out. I need hands-on learning to help me understand some of the work."

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Leslye Long, Assistant Program Director

We wanted to know how our manufacturing industry friends and staff were coping with the COVID-19 crisis at work and personally. Here is what they said: "Our offices are closed. We and our colleagues have switched all programming to calls, Zoom and email format. The timeline for completed trainings went from 14 weeks to 19 as we have to accommodate for the technical hiccups and the reality that all of our participants do not have computers or internet at home. The conversion to Google classroom, emails, Zoom, pdf, and switching appointments to Calendly was time consuming and the schedule no longer works in large blocks of time. Instead, the participants need to adapt, and we need to help them

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Dee Dee Jones, Industry Coordinator

We wanted to know how our manufacturing industry friends and staff were coping with the COVID-19 crisis at work and personally. Here is what they said: "Operations have gone virtual which has some challenges. For our students’ access to technology is a challenge for some, having quiet time alone at home to concentrate on studies is a challenge and relationship building is a challenge. My colleagues are doing the best we can to outreach, train and motivate trainees but we all wish that things were different. Most manufacturing partners aren't hiring at this time. They do not want to make commitments to people they can't keep. They're waiting to see what happens. Orders are low due to business

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Torres Hughes, YMA Coordinator

We wanted to know how our manufacturing industry friends and staff were coping with the COVID-19 crisis at work and personally. Here is what they said: "Just like most businesses, our company closed down our offices to follow social distancing guidelines. The high school students we serve, young adults, community partners, and others are all home following guidelines. This pandemic has totally shifted the way we communicate with our partners and participants. Still, we have found unconventional ways to stay connected to everyone… We have now created virtual classrooms and curriculum to continue to stay connected to the people we serve. We are still providing services and support and engaging

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Dan Swinney, Founder

We wanted to know how our manufacturing industry friends and staff were coping with the COVID-19 crisis at work and personally. Here is what they said: "Our work is profoundly social and depends on gathering people in groups at places at work, at schools, and at various meeting. We work in low income communities where many residents do not have access to the technologies needed for operating virtually. We work with employers and youth where timing is particularly important. At the very start of the pandemic, we were starting to expand. We had received very positive results in an evaluation of our work that was federally funded. We were attracting new clients for our work in education. And t

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Erica Staley, Executive Director

We wanted to know how our manufacturing industry friends and staff were coping with the COVID-19 crisis at work and personally. Here is what they said: "MR has been around for 37 years. In that time, we’ve had 3 different names, a multitude of programs, partnerships and initiatives under a multitude of Mayors, changes in leadership across every level of government, foundation, coalition and community. We’ve seen great hopes and big problems come and go. In other words, MR knows how to adapt. What hasn’t changed in 37 years is our belief that manufacturing represents a strategic vehicle for community development and reducing poverty. Regardless of the latest crisis or who is in charge, our so

Perspectives From the Front Lines: Craig Freedman, CEO, Freedman Seating

We wanted to know how our manufacturing industry friends and staff were coping with the COVID-19 crisis at work and personally. Here is what they said: "The virus has permeated every aspect of our lives. As an essential manufacturer we have been doing our best to keep our lines open, but it has been challenging. Our main goal is to keep our workforce safe. Those who do not feel comfortable coming in or, of course, are sick, do not need to come in. We have had roughly 65% attendance. We take long weekends to sanitize the facility to provide comfort and security to our valued associates. I am amazed at the resiliency and determination of not only our team but those of nonprofits like MR, and

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