GI Go Fund and City of Newark Recognized by the Brookings Institute for Expanding Manufacturing Opportunities for Veterans

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Washington-Based Policy Institute Report Highlights the Capacity for Veterans To Become Leaders in New Manufacturing Opportunities

Brookings Institute, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous work to expand manufacturing opportunities for Veterans
Veterans are the engine that will restart our economy. Just as they have done in the past...no group of individuals is more qualified to lead the way in implementing and improving the technologies of the future more than our veterans.

The Brookings Institute, one of the nation’s leading policy institutes, issued its latest report exploring the capacity for the city of Newark to become a leader in employment for new manufacturing jobs. Among its findings was the ability to create opportunities for veterans in these new positions by implementing the innovative strategies put forth from the GI Go Fund that would propel Newark and its veterans to the forefront of the coming manufacturing boom.

The 60-page report published this week by the Washington DC based think tank highlighted the strengths that the city already has in place for the coming wave of manufacturing positions in the country, as well as how it can expand on its existing programs to improve the city’s employment prospects in the field.

As part of its plan, Brookings encouraged the city to promote hiring efforts to create new ways to enlist the 10,000 veterans living in the Newark area to work in manufacturing. After extensive conversations with Jack Fanous, the Executive Director of the GI Go Fund, whose partnership with Newark Mayor Cory Booker has created a model for municipal veterans’ services, Brookings concluded that these efforts should be expanded in Newark and serve as a model for the rest of the country.

The Brookings study comes out during a time when policy experts are exploring ways to spark the second coming of American manufacturing and revitalize its export economy. Some say the U.S. is now poised to see more manufacturing return here as production costs climb in areas like China, as well as growing global instability and falling energy costs here at home.

According to Brookings, the city can develop multi-week skills training program for veterans, with the goal of integrating the training with recruitment and placement through employer/manufacturer engagement, which could be designed and handled by the GI Go Fund in collaboration with regional and statewide partners.

The ultimate outcome from this training will be to link our veterans, the individuals that have the most experience with working with new age technologies through their time in the service, with the coming boom in manufacturing through 21st century technologies such as additive manufacturing (also known as 3-D printing), databasing, and computer programming.

“Veterans are the engine that will restart our economy,” said Fanous. “Just as they have done in the past; from the end of WWII, when veterans came home to build our nation’s infrastructure from coast to coast, to the present day, no group of individuals is more qualified to lead the way in implementing and improving the technologies of the future more than our veterans. We have created an incredible model here in Newark with Mayor Booker that highlights the capacity our veterans have to improving the productivity and abilities of local businesses, both big and small. Now, thanks in part to the findings of the Brookings Institute, we will be able to usher in the new century of employment opportunities with the veterans who helped make this country what it is today.”

“My administration has worked tirelessly to create jobs and bring new companies and development to our City,” said Mayor Booker about what his city has achieved in employment opportunities. “The relocation of companies like Manischewitz and Panasonic USA, the first two new hotels downtown in 40 years, the rise of affordable and market-rate housing throughout our City’s neighborhoods, and the world-class events being hosted at the Prudential Center speak to our success. We also recognize Newark’s historic past as a manufacturing center, and we're working hard to ensure it has an equally vibrant future. This partnership with Brookings and Newark's academic institutions, nonprofits and local manufacturers will enable us to leverage the brightest opportunities for Newark's manufacturing sector and continue our economic growth."

The study was conducted by researchers after a year-long survey of data and interviews with area manufacturers and employment advocates. One of Washington’s oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and global economy and development. Brookings has earned countless accolades in its history, including being named in the University of Pennsylvania’s 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Report as the most influential think tank in the world.

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