LIFT, the Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute backed by the U.S. Department of Defense, announced Phaedra Wainaina has been promoted to director of education and workforce development to lead the institute’s Learning Innovations for Tomorrow talent programming.
In this role, her focus will be to grow LIFT’s current talent initiatives to more students in Detroit and across the country, while expanding the institute’s curricula into more forward-looking areas, including smarter manufacturing. She previously served as director of education and workforce programs at LIFT.
“It is imperative in these times to reimage and restructure a new economy to transform education and talent,” says Wainaina. “LIFT allows me to use my passion to co-create opportunities for America’s emerging workforce that will make a difference in the lives of families and their future.”
She joined LIFT in September 2021, bringing nearly a decade of experience within local and state workforce development ecosystems with her. She previously served as the executive director of two Detroit-area nonprofits and has led advocacy and stakeholder engagement strategies to directly impact the state’s workforce development sector.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.
“LIFT has been the leader among the manufacturing innovation institutes as it relates to talent development, and Phaedra will help us continue that leadership,” says Nigel Francis, CEO and executive director of LIFT.
“Talent development is absolutely core to our mission. We work to marry our talent development programs with our technology development programs to ensure that students are prepared to succeed in their careers and industry has a U.S.-based workforce ready for the future.”