With a focus on urban manufacturing in the Mass Ave Brookside Industrial Corridor near downtown Indianapolis, the Riley Area Development Corporation felt that encouraging companies and community workforce development organizations to participate in Manufacturing Day would be an ideal engagement opportunity for this area. Over 25 job seekers and staff from the Centers for Working Families at the John H. Boner Community Center, Edna Martin Christian Center and Southeast Community Services attended facility tours at Colorcon Inc., Marian Inc., 3D Parts Manufacturing and Interstate Castings where they had opportunities to learn about the companies and their operations, submit resumes for available positions and do on-site interviews. These Centers for Working Families, rooted within the communities nearest the participating host companies, provide job-readiness, certification and training programs for job-seekers enrolled in their programs. “The tour gave us great insight into operations and how best to plug candidates into job openings.” said Carla James, Financial Foundations Project Manager at the John H. Boner Community Center who organized a group of job-seekers that visited Colorcon, Inc.
In addition to the individual events at companies for job-seekers was a mid-day Manufacturing Day celebration coordinated by RADC and Employ Indy at the shops of Tomlinson Manufacturing and BAMCO, two small manufacturers in the Circle City Industrial Complex. This event, attended by over 40 people, provided the opportunity for community leaders to gather for a discussion about workforce development, urban manufacturing, small business support, and industrial redevelopment. A Manufacturing Day proclamation from Mayor Ballard’s Office and a letter from Senator Donnelly’s office were shared with guests before they had an opportunity to tour the shops of these small companies and hear firsthand from their employees about the benefits of working in a multi-tenant collaborative urban manufacturing environment. At the end of the day, the Pattern Workshop, a micro-makerspace on Mass Ave, held a small open house were attendees learned about the maker-manufacturer continuum as small businesses access resources to grow their production.