Four-year evaluation of IMEC’s Genesis initiative in Illinois found benefits for businesses and workers
Chicago, IL (12/18/19) – A new evaluation report from the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program, University of North Carolina, and Portland State University finds that a new workforce-focused approach to advising small and medium-sized manufacturers improved company operations and productivity, yielding benefits for both workers and businesses.
The report is an evaluation of the Genesis initiative conducted by IMEC, an official representative of the US Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) network, which is a public-private partnership that offers consulting services to US manufacturers to support their growth and competitiveness.
IMEC developed and implemented a new approach to its work that included an intentional and comprehensive focus on workforce practices as part of strategic planning, operations analysis, and product improvement advising. The goal was to improve business success and enhance job quality at the firms it worked within the Chicago region.
Twenty-two manufacturers participated in the initiative and saw increased sales, cost savings, higher wages, and lower turnover that they attributed to their work with IMEC. Key findings include:
“We’ve long held the view that good jobs are good business, and this report shows how businesses and workers can succeed together,” said Maureen Conway, Vice President for Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute and Executive Director of the Economic Opportunities Program. “When workers have opportunities to grow and be heard, businesses can be more productive, more efficient, safer, and ultimately more profitable.”
The report details the substantial organizational change and staff development IMEC underwent to successfully adopt this approach to working with businesses. The report also provides a series of considerations for other manufacturing extension partnerships looking to implement similar initiatives and for funders and policymakers seeking to support similar programs in their communities.
“The Genesis initiative shows how a focus on integrating workforce practices as part of our strategic advising can help MEPs’ achieve their mission of supporting the growth and competitiveness of manufacturers across the country,” said David Boulay, Ph.D., President at IMEC. “We’re excited to share what we learned from this work to help strengthen the manufacturing sector and provide good jobs for more workers in America.”
To view the full report and supporting information, please visit: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/genesis-at-work-evaluating-the-effects-of-manufacturing-extension-on-business-success-and-job-quality/ .RETURN TO NEWS