Chicago Composite Initiative

Creating Advanced Manufacturing Jobs in Illinois

The Chicago Composite Initiative (CCI) is a public/private partnership designed to establish Chicago as a center for advanced manufacturing. This shared goal of creating new and enduring advanced manufacturing jobs in Chicago will be reached through the development of four crucial areas: 1.) establishing specially designed learn-by-doing programming for high school, college and graduate level students designed to introduce and develop an understanding of advanced composite materials, 2.) mobilizing of Chicago’s workforce by providing the necessary training in advanced manufacturing demanded by technologically advanced global industries, 3.) forging the necessary incubational hub which entrepreneurs will rely on to accelerate their manufacturing dreams in Chicago 4.) making capable the foundational infrastructure required for large-scale advanced manufacturing in Chicago of market-ready products in order to meet the diverse needs of industries worldwide.

This concept is the first industry-wide advanced manufacturing incubator/accelerator of its kind and will position Chicago as a center for the future of manufacturing.

Definition of Advanced Manufacturing:
This is a type of manufacturing in which composite materials like carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass and other advanced fabrics are used. It also describes emerging technologies that are positioned to surpass composite materials in the form 3D printing/additive manufacturing, the development of uses for graphene, as well as any other advanced manufacturing material that comes to market.

Four Areas of Infrastructure:
High School, College and Graduate Level Programming – Learn by Doing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students
Students will learn by doing in fields that relate directly to STEM disciplines, which is an essential way to spur curiosity and innovation, as well as teaching skills that can lead to careers in advanced materials and engineering. Students will be exposed to advanced composite materials like carbon fiber in order to generate an organic interest in the materials. CCI’s strong relationships with local rowing, cycling, motorsports, sailing, and paddling programs will be a natural way to connect learning to the actual day-to-day use of these materials by Chicagoans. Students also will work with industry leading companies who want be a part of this advanced manufacturing movement.

Workforce Development – Putting Chicago Back to Work
In order for Chicago be become a center for the development of advanced manufacturing, a comprehensive plan to create a pipeline of skilled residents prepared to work is of paramount importance. Advanced manufacturing has the momentum needed to put a large number of Chicagoans back to work, as well as increase their income or wage-earning potential. Advanced manufacturing also will ensure that members of Chicago’s disadvantaged populations and youth have access to these new and unique employment opportunities.

Hub for Entrepreneurs – Dedicated Assistance for Start-Ups
Just like in Silicon Valley or at Chicago’s own 1871, Chicago’s advanced manufacturing industry needs to have a dedicated facility to provide Chicago startups with an affordable workspace, reliably sourced materials, access to mentors, programming, educational resources, potential investors, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. This hub will be the foundation for the development of new businesses that can rely on Chicago’s newly established advanced manufacturing industry.

Infrastructure for Manufacturing in Chicago – A Center for Advanced Manufacturing
Along with student outreach, job training for adults and resources for entrepreneurs, Chicago needs to meet the unique needs of companies seeking advanced manufacturing in order to benefit from this fast-growing industry. The success of this concept relies on Chicago’s capacity to produce technologically advanced products through the coordination of sourced materials, shared manufacturing infrastructure, a well-trained workforce, and a partnership with elected officials all working toward the goal of making Chicago a center for advanced manufacturing.

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Advanced Manufacturing, Custom Carbon Fiber and Job Creation