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For Immediate Release
February 23, 2018

IPFW's University Community Conversation (UC²) Holds Second Panel Discussion on Manufacturing in Northeast Indiana

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Indiana University–Purdue University's (IPFW) Institute for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavors (IRSC) is sponsoring a series of University Community Conversation (UC²) events on manufacturing work in northeast Indiana.

The second of four panel discussions will take place Sunday, February 25, at 2 p.m. at the Genealogy Center in the Allen County Public Library’s main branch. "Remembering Major Manufacturers: GE, Harvester, Zollner, GM" will feature the following panelists:

  • Denver Sarver, GE retiree
  • Carl Reinking, GE retiree
  • Bob Glick, International Harvester retiree
  • Al Meredith, Zollner retiree
  • Randy Schmidt, GM retiree

UC² has partnered with the Genealogy Discovery Center at the Allen County Public Library, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, the Multicultural Council of Fort Wayne, the IPFW Community Research Institute, and other community organizations to host a series of panel discussions to explore the history of manufacturing in northeast Indiana, its changes over time, and workers' experiences. The ultimate goal is to promote an effort to digitize local labor history and create a “Factory Families Archive,” an online archive of photographs, newsletters, and other documents related to manufacturing work.

The dates, times, and topics of the next two panel discussions are:

  • Multinational Manufacturing: Mapping the World in Allen County
    • Sunday, March 25
    • 2 p.m.
    • Allen County Public Library Main Branch, Meeting Room A
  • Manufacturing and Workforce Development In Allen County
    • Monday, April 16
    • 6 p.m.
    • Allen County-Fort Wayne History Center

In the effort to build the Factory Families Archive, UC² is holding three Factory Families Digitization Days. On March 17, April 7, and April 21, they will create digital copies of photographs, memorabilia, newsletters, and any other items members of the community may have relating to manufacturing in northeast Indiana. One digital copy will be given to the community member, and one will be preserved in the online archive. Digitization Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Genealogy Discovery Center at the Allen County Public Library's main branch at 900 Library Plaza.

UC² is also partnering with the Allen County Public Library for “24-hours in Allen County.” They are asking community members to take photographs of their experiences working in manufacturing from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2018. These photographs will also form a part of the archive.

Finally, UC² is actively seeking community members who have one or more family members who worked in manufacturing or are currently working in manufacturing and would be willing to share their stories to be recorded, archived, and preserved as part of the Factory Families Archive documenting local labor history. The goal is to collect these narratives in a multilingual format.

If you know anyone who would be interested in helping with this project, please call Stephen Buttes at 260-481-6630 or email