CCWBE Report

Manufacturing Renaissance
Reporting Period:
Nov 2023
Submitted on:
December 1, 2023
Submitted By:
Erica Staley

TA Providers: General Questions

CWB Goals

Please provide a brief update on your progress toward your proposed CWB goals in the last reporting period:

We had two priorities for this reporting period. The first one was to begin the screening and interviewing process to hire a quality candidate for the Research and Instructional Design Project Coordinator position that will be central to updating our Early Warning manual as the source document for creating our training curriculum and a multi-media interactive learning experience for participants. This is a unique position requiring the successful candidate to have research, writing, formatting and instructional design skills. This person will also assist the senior team with overall project implementation including workshop coordination, and outreach and recruitment. Filling this position will add significant capacity to our team allowing us to achieve our goals much more quickly as we can now fully operationalize our implementation plan. We received over 40 applications for the position. We identified 7 candidates for 30-minute screening calls and we interviewed 4 candidates who seemed to possess the skills and experience we are seeking. We will be making an offer for employment to our preferred candidate on Monday, Dec. 4. Our second priority this period was to finalize the specific roles and expectations for the project advisory committee whose main function is to assist with the editing and publishing of the manual, inform training design, to assist with stakeholder outreach and participant recruitment, and to help ensure that the training is effective towards achieving our goals. We also wanted the committee to reflect what we believe are critical aspects of the manufacturing and community development ecosystem to ensure that we are able to build a comprehensive model. The following individuals have agreed to join the advisory committee: Sequane Lawrence, the Revolution Institute; Jim Piper, President, Matot, Inc. manufacturing; Steve Simmons, North Branch Works; Dr. Matt Wilson, University of Illinois at Chicago Great Cities Institute; Ken Gaebler, marketing and financial consultant. The first meeting of the full committee is scheduled for December 13, 2023. Establishing the advisory committee and hiring our Research and Industrial Design Coordinator are the first steps toward revising and updating the Early Warning Manual, creating the training curriculum, and beginning the outreach and recruitment to identify stakeholders interested in receiving Early Warning training. Although we got a late start, we expect to begin training by April of 2024. Senior staff continues to attend the HUB and convening meetings and we also continue to connect with other members of the social economy eco-system in Chicagoland and across the country. For instance, in partnership with The League of Black Women, Ravinia Capital, Brian Cave law firm, and Steve Laser and associates, we hosted an information session on manufacturing ownership succession on Tuesday, November 28. Tom Goldblatt of Ravinia Capital emceed the event. Dan Swinney, Founder of Manufacturing Renaissance, presented on the history and origins of the ideas that developed this initiative. The presentation was followed by distinguished panelists who shared their expertise on different dimensions on the challenges and opportunities reflecting this work. • Dr. Teresa Cordova, UIC Great Cities Institute, shared her research on the increasing percentage of manufacturing company owners who do not have a plan for succession and the implications of this on our communities. • Mary Josephs, Verit Advisors, shared her experience helping companies convert to employee ownership through employee stock ownership plans (ESOP). • DeJuan Lever, Iverson & Co., shared his journey, inspired by Manufacturing Renaissance’s earlier work to buying his own manufacturing company in June 2023. • Sandra Finley, League of Black Women, shared inspiring stories of Black women business owners and her own passion and sense of movement building around the expertise of Black women entrepreneurs who are ready to be the future leaders and owners of manufacturing companies. Tom had everyone in the room briefly introduce themselves to increase awareness of the diversity and expertise in the room and to make the case on what is required to help develop and operationalize an Early Warning System and Manufacturing Succession Solutions program that can start to systematically identify and support ownership succession among legacy manufacturers to a new generation of employee-owners, Black, Latinx and other people of color, women and other minority groups underrepresented in the ownership of manufacturing companies. MR’s David Robinson and volunteer and advisor Ken Gaebler, closed the event with an appeal for attendees to join us in building the momentum and funding needed to operationalize this work. This needs to be a major program in the Chicagoland area to retain and grow locally owned industry as a way to build wealth in traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities in manufacturing. If we do this right, we can build sustainable, inclusive and equitable economy for all.

What constraints or limitations, if any, did you experience in the last reporting period?

The most significant challenge at the moment is learning how to properly prepare our vouchers for payment. Our initial voucher submission was rejected, but we are making the adjustments.

What opportunities, if any, did you take advantage of in the last reporting period?

We participated in the Coop Developer information session presented by DAWI and the monthly coop team meeting. We decided against applying for the DAWI training because the focus of the training is on Coop development.

Chicago CWB Ecosystem

Did you establish new CWB relationships/partnerships in the last reporting period?


Please describe the relationships you established pertaining to your CWB work.

Did you collaborate with other TA providers in the last reporting period?


Which TA provider(s) did you work with?

Please share on behalf of whom / which projects you collaborated with the TA providers above:

Did you attend the Working Group meeting last month?


How would you rate the usefulness of the working group to your project last month? (on a scale of 1-5)


Optional Space

Demographic Data

Community Area(s) (select all that apply)

Community Area Participants Served in this Community Area
N/A - no participants served 0


Race / Ethnicity of Participants (select all that apply)



Other Race/Ethnicity (please specify)

Our project, when fully operational, will serve the entire BIPOC community. At the moment, we are building the infrastructure to be able to service members of the community.


Gender identity of Participants (select all that apply)



Age Range of Participants (select all that apply)



Worker Coop Work

How many sessions of one-on-one consulting to Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers did you conduct this reporting period? (e.g. one group or individual with one training provider)?



How many group workshops for Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers did you conduct this reporting period? (e.g. convenings, workshops, events, etc.)



How many hours of support to CWB Pre-Development Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers did you provide this reporting period?



How many hours of support to existing Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers did you provide this reporting period?



How many co-op businesses did you develop last reporting period? (It's okay if the answer is 0)



How many jobs were created overall last reporting period? (It's okay if the answer is 0)



Please list the Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers Organizations you worked with this reporting period.

Revolution Institute


What type(s) of Technical Assistance did you provide to Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers this reporting period? Select all that apply.


Did you provide education to any Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers this reporting period?



What are the greatest needs that your WC clients/partners expressed in this reporting period?

Limited knowledge about the ownership succession model and how to integrate social good into established M&A, VC, Private Equity, and traditional banking systems.


What are the greatest gaps in service or resources in Chicago's CWB ecosystem?

Securing additional funding to build the foundation for our model represents the biggest gap. The CWB grant will help us create a trained team of specialists, but in order to transact deals, we will need more capacity.


Please share any direct testimonials from Worker Cooperatives, Conversions, or Co-op Developers clients or storytelling about the impact of your work this period:

At one point during our Ownership Succession Information Session, I asked the audience if the want to learn more and become involved by a show of hands. Over 85% of those in attendance raised their hands. In addition, we have received a dozen requests to be involved in the next steps of the process.


Please upload media (document with testimonials, photos, or video links) from WC workshops or events held.