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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