Two seminars to be held at UTas Cradle Coast campus in Burnie on Friday week (15th April), at which Dan Swinney, Executive Director of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, will be speaking on “Manufacturing Regained: New Prospects for North West Tasmania”.

I chaired a seminar co-hosted by the Grattan Institute and law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Melbourne on Wednesday evening at which Dan Swinney spoke on how his organization has sought to revitalize manufacturing in the Chicago area of the United States through co-operative endeavours involving industry, labour unions and government, with particular emphasis on education and skills acquisition in areas where manufacturing has been in a long decline. Although I didn’t agree with everything he advocated, I certainly found his presentation insightful and thought-provoking .

Dan Swinney’s visit to Australia has been sponsored by the University of Melbourne and ‘Enterprise Connect’, a division of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation and Scientific Research, and includes presentations in four regional centres, of which Burnie is one.

New Prospects for North West Tasmania

Dan Swinney
Executive Director
Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC)

Drawing parallels with North West Tasmania, Swinney will lead a discussion with local business, industry and community leaders about prospects for the recovery, development and sustainability of skilled manufacturing in the region.


Understand the principles and strategies behind CMRC’s 25 year experience – the
achievements and lessons – and talk about how these apply to NW Tasmania:

• How a broader network can vastly improve regional business and employment prospects
• How young people can be attracted into manufacturing careers and making more of current manufacturing skills and know-how
• How innovation, productivity and growth can emerge from stronger connection between business and regional interests


Dan Swinney has spent the past 25 years spearheading collaborative and innovative approaches to retaining industrial jobs in Chicago and across the United States. Following the closure of manufacturing plants and the subsequent loss of thousands of jobs in the Chicago area in 1982, he established (and currently directs) the Center for Labor and Community Research. Swinney also founded the Austin Polytech Academy which is growing the region’s next wave of manufacturing leaders, managers and entrepreneurs.


Be part of a larger opportunity to learn from other regions and build separate and shared actions. Briefing papers will document the challenges and strengths discussed in the workshops and capture the case for local action and also combined action where useful. Workshops will be conducted in the manufacturing centres of Western Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat.

For more information: