Where Manufacturing Technology and Talent Matter… From the Desk of Nigel Francis, CEO & Executive Director

Nigel Francis

Over the last 18 months, we have talked a lot about our evolution as an institute and where we are heading in the future.

Since our formation, LIFT and our network of members and partners – including the Department of Defense – have been focused on technology development, particularly around materials and process development, as well as what has been called education and workforce development, working to provide opportunities for students and current workers alike to learn advanced manufacturing skills.

There is no doubt that our institute has been successful at both, so as we have turned into 2020 with momentum and look forward to our 6th anniversary, it is our plan to grow and expand upon both.

LIFT is where “Manufacturing Technology and Talent Matter.”

We know there are organizations around the country which focus on manufacturing innovations and there are those which focus on providing educational opportunities. However, what we have done at LIFT is built a unique facility which houses both and developed an ecosystem of national experts which we work with on a daily basis that are interested in both. We have also developed programs which are poised to grow across the country and really “move the needle” on filling the advanced manufacturing skills gap and improve the efficiency of manufacturers, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

Simply put, we are driving American manufacturing into the future.

On the technology side, we are growing beyond only working on metallic materials science and process development. We are expanding our work into additional materials and even more processes and systems. The future is based in “smarter manufacturing,” the combination of materials, process and systems, which will make the industry nimbler and more efficient. LIFT is at the leading edge of that movement.

In fact, we are rolling out new “pillars” of technology that we will be focusing on, which pull from our history of materials research, but also look to the future of smarter manufacturing. Those pillars include: Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), Agile and Smarter Manufacturing, Advanced Alloy and Process Development, Mixed Material Joining.

When it comes to education, we are developing talent, not only the future workforce, so education & workforce development is being renamed “Talent Development.” With our Detroit Learning Lab and the national expansion of our Operation Next program, we are developing the talent of the students and workers who walk through our doors and that the industry so desperately needs. We are also focusing on getting our IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing curriculum into schools around the country and providing more world-class certification programs right here in our facility

Over the coming months, you’ll witness this continued growth, from new partnerships being developed to a new website and everything in between. We are looking forward to continuing this journey and invite you to join us. As always, our facility remains open to you for tours and discussions of how we can support your technology and talent development needs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.