Our investment in JARC Rhode Island

Beth Foster-Chao
Beth Foster-Chao December 14, 2022 2 min read

Closing the manufacturing talent gap

According to research by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, the combination of sector growth, an aging workforce, and the adoption of new technologies are contributing to an estimated two million manufacturing jobs that will go unfilled by 2028, a gap that continues to widen. Manufacturers face the challenge of both recruiting new, skilled workers, and reskilling incumbent workers to minimize displacement as advanced technology is adopted and different skills are needed to thrive. However, according to a National Skills Coalition study of manufacturers, “small and mid-sized business leaders often lack the tools necessary to develop a pipeline of skilled workers or upskill incumbent workers.”


The Autodesk Foundation welcomes Jane Addams Resource Corporation Rhode Island (JARC RI) to its Work & Prosperity portfolio. JARC is a workforce development nonprofit founded in 1985 in the Ravenwood Industrial Corridor on the north side of Chicago. Today, it is widely regarded as a provider of both best-in-class, sector-based manufacturing training and holistic support for those facing barriers to employment.

JARC has developed a proven manufacturing training model that addresses these challenges for manufacturers and workers alike. And having built a successful JARC program in Chicago and Baltimore, JARC is in the process of scaling to Rhode Island through an innovative partnership with Polaris Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Polaris MEP) to create JARC RI. Polaris MEP supports manufacturers across Rhode Island and is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP).

JARC’s open enrollment and open exit training programs in CNC, welding, and additive manufacturing equip job seekers with not only the relevant in-demand skills needed to secure a well-paying manufacturing job, but also with the wealth-building skills and family services to transition out of poverty and build financial stability. To support local manufacturers, JARC provides customized incumbent worker training, from running one-day workshops to building curriculum and advancement pathways within a CNC department. These services help employers prepare their workforce to leverage new technologies and build resilience.

JARC RI will combine JARC’s highly effective approach with Polaris MEP’s local expertise and extensive network of employers, community-based organizations, and government partners. Since the 1980s, MEPs in each state have played critical roles in helping small and mid-sized manufacturers adopt cutting-edge technology. Polaris MEP and JARC are showcasing how coming together to advance their respective missions can accelerate positive outcomes for manufacturing workers and employers.

Creating a blueprint to scale advanced manufacturing training

Funding from the Autodesk Foundation will support the launch of JARC RI, which could become a blueprint for other state programs scaling advanced manufacturing training. Through the Autodesk Foundation, JARC RI will tap into Autodesk expertise and its Outsight Network Technology Centers to support JARC RI’s new advanced manufacturing center and to offer industry-leading technology and credentials within the training program.

Learn more about how JARC RI is advancing social and economic equity and prosperous families through the manufacturing industry.