Category Archives: Press Releases

IMEC and Bethel New Life Collaborate on Genesis Chicago Community Manufacturing Economic Development Initiative

  • October 26, 2015
  • Chicago, IL (October 20, 2015) – Today, the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) and Bethel New Life announced a collaboration geared toward strengthening the ongoing execution of the Genesis Chicago Community Manufacturing Economic Development Initiative (Genesis Movement). This initiative inserts experts into key areas of the manufacturing process to help companies improve their competitiveness. The collaboration aims to provide manufacturers with a vehicle to develop and deploy critical strategies to maximize business potential and create more jobs on Chicago’s West Side.

    The Genesis Movement was created by IMEC as part of its mission to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. By linking long-term plans and related goals with on-site implementation services that identify and solve performance gaps, IMEC helps manufacturers optimize operating capacity, implement advanced product and process innovations, increase sales, enter new markets, and improve profitability.

    By collaborating with Bethel, IMEC aims to utilize Bethel’s economic and workforce development programs to identify and prepare a larger number of skilled job candidates to fill the new jobs created as manufacturers grow from their participation in the Genesis Movement. Since 2013, Bethel has operated an Advanced Manufacturing Training program in partnership with the Technology & Manufacturing Association. To date, the AMT program has graduated more than 70 individuals with high-demand advanced manufacturing skills and NIMS certified CNC operator credentials. Bethel has also provided consulting support to local manufacturing businesses in areas such as capital access, operations management, and strategic planning assistance.

    “Reducing concentrated poverty on Chicago’s West Side is the major focus of our West Side Forward > mission and we believe that creating well-paying manufacturing jobs is a viable way to do this. The Genesis Movement is an opportunity for IMEC and Bethel to collaborate synergistically in a manner that has proven to help a number of local manufacturing companies improve operations and create these types of jobs,” said Dr. Lori Vallelunga, President and CEO of Bethel New Life. “As each manufacturer becomes more competitive, they are able to improve the local economy, and thus the quality of life for West side community residents.”

    “There was no question that Bethel will be a strong partner in fortifying the success of the Genesis Movement,” said IMEC’s President, Dave Boulay. “More than lip-service, they have proven results in the areas of workforce and business development in the manufacturing industry. When we were looking for assistance, we could see no better partner than Bethel New Life.”

    About Bethel New Life

    Bethel New Life operates as a new breed of community investment organization on Chicago’s West Side. We are focused on creating opportunities to bring individuals and families out of poverty, as well as bringing about the system and policy changes necessary to lift an entire community out of poverty. We invest in people who are ready to invest in themselves, and we impact the systems and policies that dampen the human spirit and prevent communities from thriving. For more information, visit us online at: www.bethelnewlife.org.

    About IMEC

    IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. We link long-term plans and related goals with on-site implementation services by identifying performance gaps, solving these gaps, and building a culture to support sustained improvements. We help optimize operating capacity, implement advanced product and process innovations, increase sales and enter new markets, and improve profitability. More information can be found at: http://www.imec.org/.

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Bethel New Life, TMA, World Business Chicago 1000 Jobs Collaborate to Help Train for Future Manufacturing Jobs

  • June 8, 2015
  • Alignment to Address National Skills Gap and Poverty

    Chicago, IL, June 3, 2015: West Side Chicago nonprofit, Bethel New Life, announces graduation of the 2015 Summer Cohort of Advanced Manufacturing Training (AMT). This is the second AMT graduation since Bethel partnered with World Business Chicago 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing campaign, and the ongoing partnership with The Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA). The 1000 Jobs Campaign helps facilitate coordination within the workforce development and training system, helping match job seekers to employers more effectively and efficiently.

    This graduation will mark the 6th cohort for the program overall, with a total of 73 graduates since it started in 2013. Advanced Manufacturing is a high-tech industry that requires training on computer numerical control (CNC) machines. To date, 100 percent of AMT graduates have received their CNC national credentials giving them a real career advantage. In addition, Bethel’s partnership with 1000 Jobs campaign and TMA’s 1,000 members gives our graduates access to manufacturing employers throughout Chicagoland. “Motivated AMT graduates get hired, and are often promoted and given pay increases within a year,” said Jumaani Bates, Bethel New Life Workforce Development Specialist and 1000 Jobs account executive.

    Bethel and TMA have a two-year relationship with proven success, providing opportunities for graduates to earn highly-sought after, nationally recognized NIMS certifications. World Business Chicago 1000 Jobs, led by a consortium of 40 manufacturing industry leaders and in partnership with dozens of additional organizations, will place 1,000 qualified job seekers on career pathways in manufacturing, and link residents who need additional skills to training and apprenticeship programs resulting in fulltime employment. This strategic collaboration continues to work to strengthen the Chicagoland economy, address the national skills gap in advanced manufacturing, and give Chicago West Side residents access to good paying jobs in advanced manufacturing.
    The graduation will be held Friday, June 5th at 10:00 AM in Amberg Hall on the Bethel New Life Campus at 1140 N. Lamon.

    “Graduates of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Program have demonstrated the motivation and skills to acquire their credentials, and to acclimate well in their new career and earn promotions. These graduates are the solution to the skills gap in manufacturing,” said Ed Coleman, Chief Innovation Officer at Bethel New Life. “The partnership with TMA and World Business Chicago increases the program’s capacity to bring opportunities to our West Side community residents, while helping the manufacturing industry in the Chicago region become more competitive.”

    All participants accepted into AMT receive free training and certification, valued at $6,000. Bethel’s AMT program welcomes all adults 18 or older including returning citizens. AMT participants with children are eligible for Family College that combines AMT, academic skills training for children, and family growth experiences. A new AMT cohort starts June 15th. Orientation sessions for AMT are held every Wednesday.

    About Bethel New Life

    Bethel New Life is a 501c3 non-profit organization based on Chicago’s West Side. Bethel’s mission is “to realize God’s vision of a restored society by creating opportunities for individuals and families to invest in themselves, and by promoting policies and systems that help communities thrive”. You can read Bethel’s plan to alleviate entrenched poverty in its communities at westsideforward.org.

     About The Technology & Manufacturing Association

    The Technology & Manufacturing Association is a leading voice in an evolving manufacturing industry. TMA cultivates and strengthens its members by providing them programs and services in order to thrive as individuals, companies, and as a business community. TMA is the leading voice for manufacturing in a Chicago metropolitan region, and a major contributor to economic growth and opportunity.

    About World Business Chicago 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing

    Demand-driven workforce development program that will place workers in 1,000 open advanced manufacturing positions. It is led by a consortium of 40 manufacturing industry leaders and has partnerships with dozens of additional organizations. It will place 1,000 qualified job seekers on career pathways in manufacturing, and link residents who need additional skills to training and apprenticeship programs resulting in fulltime employment. For more information visit 1000jobscampaign.com. Follow WBC on Twitter: @WorldBizChicago.

Walmart Foundation Accepting Applications, Illinois NPOs

  • April 23, 2015
  • Foundation accepting applications through May 1st

     

    CHICAGO, April 23, 2015: The Walmart Foundation State Giving Council Program has opened its application period for its second funding cycle. Illinois nonprofit organizations can apply for funding to support programs within the scope of the “Focused Giving” areas that include hunger relief, healthy eating or career opportunity.

    Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program awards grants to Illinois organizations during its second and fourth cycles to support organizations that address areas of need among underserved populations.

    As a 2014 State Giving Program grant recipient, Bethel New Life recently received a $50,000 contribution to support the organization’s Advanced Manufacturing Training program to create opportunities for individuals and families to invest in themselves. “Our AMT program is aimed at building a workforce and providing an academic bridge for individuals who want to acquire in-demand skills sought by the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Edward A. Coleman, Chief Innovation Officer of Bethel New Life. Full Press Release here: Foundation Press Release

Bethel New Life, TMA and World Business Chicago Present Solution to Skills Shortage

  • January 23, 2015
  • Nonprofit Partners with Economic, Manufacturing Leaders to Address Skills Gap and Poverty

    Chicago, IL, January 20, 2015: West Side Chicago nonprofit Bethel New Life is pleased to announce the first graduation class in 2015 of our Advanced Manufacturing Training (AMT) program. This celebration recognizes our recently announced partnership with World Business Chicago, and our ongoing alliance with The Technology Manufacturing Association (TMA). This strategic collaboration promises to strengthen the Chicagoland economy, address the national skills gap, and give Chicago’s West Side residents access to good paying jobs in advanced manufacturing.

    Bethel and TMA have a two-year relationship with proven success, providing opportunities for participants to earn highly-sought after, nationally recognized NIMS certifications. World Business Chicago through the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs and its 1,000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing program has been a great asset to the team, working to ensure a healthy economic future for the Chicago region that provides opportunities for all Chicagoans, including its most impoverished communities. The commencement ceremony will be held at Bethel’s Amberg Hall, 1140 N. Lamon, Chicago on Friday, January 23rd at 10:30 AM. This AMT commencement will mark Bethel’s 5th AMT graduating class for a total of 59 graduates since the program started in 2013.

    “AMT graduates have demonstrated the motivation and skills to acquire these credentials, and to acclimate well in their new career and earn promotions. These graduates are the solution to the skills gap in manufacturing,” said Ed Coleman Vice President of Community Economic Development at Bethel New Life. “We can say with pride that when AMT graduates have taken NIMS credentials exams, they have passed 100% of the time. Our partnership with TMA and World Business Chicago is increasing our capacity to bring opportunities to our West Side community residents, while helping the manufacturing industry in the Chicago region become more competitive.”

     About World Business Chicago

    Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago drives Chicago’s economic growth. WBC collaborates to create jobs, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy. A unique public-private partnership, WBC engages the region’s leaders to advance Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. Follow WBC on Twitter: @WorldBizChicago..

     About The Technology Manufacturing Association

    The Technology Manufacturing Association is a leading voice in an evolving manufacturing industry. TMA cultivates and strengthens its members by providing them programs and services in order to thrive as individuals, companies, and as a business community. TMA is the leading voice for manufacturing in a Chicago metropolitan region, and a major contributor to economic growth and opportunity.

     About Bethel New Life

    Bethel New Life is a 501c3 non-profit organization based on Chicago’s West Side. Bethel’s mission is “to realize God’s vision of a restored society by creating opportunities for individuals and families to invest in themselves, and by promoting policies and systems that help communities thrive”. You can read Bethel’s plan to alleviate entrenched poverty in its communities at westsideforward.org.