Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum to Develop Regional Manufacturing Workforce Strategy

DETROIT, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Those attending the Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 9-11, 2008 will play a key role in developing a regional manufacturing workforce strategy that will provide a skilled, creative workforce that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship and readily adapts to change.

That strategy will align with industry standards, give people the skills they need to do their jobs today and in the future and help connect them with careers.

The Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum is sponsored by the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council, which received a planning grant from the Joyce Foundation to bring together regional manufacturing firms, labor, industry associations and workforce development partners at the Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum.

"The Great Lakes Region has the talent to provide a skilled, creative workforce that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship and readily adapts to change," said Edward A. Wolking, Jr., president of the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council. "The strategy developed during the Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum will be a catalyst that will help provide our manufacturing firms with the workforce they need to be successful in the global marketplace. We encourage those interested to attend."

Over the next few months a Great Lakes Manufacturing Council committee will be developing a strategy for discussion at the Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum. That committee includes: Dr. Robert Sheets, senior policy advisor, Illinois Dept of Commerce and Economic; Carol D'Amico, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana; Mark Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME); Henry Reiser, dean, School of Technology, Applied Science and Apprenticeship, Lambton College in Sarnia, Ont., and Jennifer McNelly, vice president, education + workforce, the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturer (NAM).

    Some of the Partners in this event include:

     -- Society of Manufacturing Engineers
     -- Chambers of Commerce of Chicago, Detroit and Toledo
     -- Provinces of Ontario and Quebec
     -- Pittsburgh Technology Council
     -- Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
     -- Conexus Indiana
     -- Purdue University
     -- And many more

Based in Chicago with assets over $935 million, the Joyce Foundation supports efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture. Visit their Web site at

The Great Lakes Manufacturing Forum brings together manufacturing, business, academic and government leaders focused on promoting, enhancing and preserving manufacturing in the Great Lakes Region. Regional leaders from the eight Great Lakes States as well as the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec will gather to discuss the image of the Great Lakes region, innovation in manufacturing, the workforce and skills needed for manufacturing today and in the future as well as the borders and logistics requirements needed to succeed in today's global economy. The forum will be opened by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Forum sponsors include the Joyce Foundation, the Province of Ontario, National City Bank, Plante & Moran, ASG Renaissance, IBM, and Deloitte.

About the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council:

The Great Lakes Manufacturing Council is a long-term relationship and collaboration of regional leaders from the eight Great Lakes States and the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec committed to the growth of manufacturing and the Great Lakes region. Its goal is to support a more competitive manufacturing base by promoting greater intra-regional communication and collaboration, best practices sharing and application and positive imagery that will attract, retain and grow business.

For additional information about the event go to or call 866.615.2182.

Contact: Marge Sorge (734.578.6507)

                Martha Welsh (734.646.5372)
                Maura Campbell (517.944.0811)

Web site:

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