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Economy

Manufacturers Learn About Resources & Partnerships

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Michelle O'Neill
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WVIK News

Local leaders from business, higher education, and government met twice this week to learn about what's new in manufacturing. On Thursday, the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, Western Illinois University, and a new lab in Chicago hosted a workshop called, Digital Manufacturing and the Next Revolution.

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Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
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WVIK News
Goodwin discusses information on a slide during his presentation.

Jacob Goodwin works at the federally-funded Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), also called the Digital Lab. He says its purpose is to research manufacturing processes and share the results with factories all over the country.

In addition, the lab will provide half the funds for collaborative research proposed by universities and companies.

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Credit submitted / Cheri Bustos office
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Cheri Bustos office
Bustos speaking with participants at Western Illinois University, Quad Cities

Also this week, Illinois 17th District Congresswoman, Cheri Bustos, held roundtable discussions on manufacturing in Rockford, the Quad Cities, and Peoria. One idea she likes is called "reverse mentoring," a program for older employees to learn about software and new technology from younger employees.

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Bustos says she learned how difficult it is to replace engineers and others who are retiring from manufacturing jobs.

Bustos says examples of public-private partnerships include the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab and the Manufacturing Innovation Hub.

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