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WIRE-Net changes name to Manufacturing Works as part of 30th anniversary

August 30, 2018

WIRE-Net changes name to Manufacturing Works as part of 30th anniversary

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- No longer will John Colm need to explain that his non-profit organization, WIRE-Net, doesn’t deal with telecommunications or extra-strength hair spray.

The economic development organization WIRE-Net is changing its name to Manufacturing Works to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

The new name better communicates the non-profit’s aim of fostering workforce development and knowledge sharing in the manufacturing sector, said Colm, who is founding president and executive director.

“We all recognized it was something we needed to do,” he said about the name change, which was announced in a statement Thursday.

Manufacturing Works started as the West Side Industrial Retention and Expansion Network, then used WIRE-Net as its scope expanded beyond Cleveland’s West Side, Colm said.

The organization thought about a name change in the past, but finally took the leap to coincide with the anniversary, and Colm’s upcoming retirement in January. He will be 65 in October. His retirement was announced earlier this year.

The organization shares its expertise in supply chain development, governmental assistance programs and urban redevelopment with a network of 350 Northeast Ohio businesses that employ more than 20,000 workers.

“We have played a role in helping them find their own road map” through workforce development and manufacturing improvements, he said.

This year, Manufacturing Works finalized its three-year strategic vision. The plan focuses on attracting young people into manufacturing trades, as well as helping legacy businesses adopt the Internet of Things as a new way of operating.

Manufacturing Works’ old name will be officially retired at an anniversary celebration held in the Flats on Thursday.

“I’m glad we finally did it,” Colm said. “I hope the name Manufacturing Works serves the organization for the next 30 years.”

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