enFocus creates dedicated Industry Innovation Team to support iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame


enFocus builds on successful talent attraction model to support regional industry advancement

Elkhart, Ind. (June 22, 2020) – enFocus, a key resource for talent attraction in the South Bend-Elkhart Region, is pleased to announce the creation of a new, dedicated industry innovation team to support iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame. The University of Notre Dame, with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., established iNDustry Labs in 2019 to unlock the competitive advantage associated with the region’s concentration of manufacturing in proximity to a global, tier-one research university.

enFocus has built a team of Fellows boasting backgrounds in engineering, industrial design, data analytics and digital operations. They are currently joined by summer interns from notable engineering programs including the University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, Purdue University and Northwestern University. The Fellows provide support to iNDustryLabs Faculty and staff in their collaborations with businesses in the region as they develop and implement strategic plans for product and process innovation to diversify and grow business operations. Through the process, businesses gain access to technical expertise and innovation-based facilities available through iNDustry Labs.

Since its inception in 2012, enFocus has proven to be a key resource for talent attraction in the region. Through a two-year Fellowship program, recent graduates from a wide range of disciplines are paired with sponsored projects to drive innovation in local organizations. Much of enFocus’ work to-date has focused on serving the public, education and non-profit sectors. The launch of the Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network created an opportunity for enFocus to expand their activities to support innovation-based economic development, through iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame.

Michael Shoemaker, most recently a process engineer with Ford Motor Company, will lead the enFocus team as Program Director of Industry Innovation. Michael holds a bachelors and masters degree in Engineering from the University of Michigan, and joined enFocus in 2018.

“We recognize the difficulty local business leaders often have in finding technical talent that can help identify and implement digital advancements that result in competitive advantages,” said Shoemaker. “enFocus has demonstrated success in attracting the young talent needed to take local organizations to the next level, and we are excited to support iNDustry Labs in this effort.”

“We are thrilled with the caliber of technical talent enFocus brings to iNDustry Labs’ operations,” said John DeSalle, iNDustry Labs Executive Engineer-in-Residence and former President of Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. “Ultimately, our goal is to help build regional resilience with our manufacturers and regional industry to ensure they become or remain global competitors in a technologically advanced economy.”

About iNDustry Labs at Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame’s iNDustry Labs exists to serve businesses in the South-Bend Elkhart Region embarking on a digital transformation journey to become more productive, resilient and skilled.

As an anchor of the South Bend-Elkhart Labs for Industry Futures and Transformation (LIFT) Network, iNDustry Labs supports the network’s aim of creating a competitive advantage for businesses in the region, and serves as a front door to the University of Notre Dame for industry partners, and other LIFT Network members. For more information, visit industrylabs.nd.edu.

About enFocus, Inc.
enFocus is a nonprofit organization that empowers talent to transform communities.  We recruit recent graduates into a two-year Fellowship program and develop them into the next generation of community and business leaders. enFocus Fellows work alongside experienced mentors in the corporate, nonprofit, education and public sectors to discover, design, and implement innovative solutions to benefit the community.  We partner with local organizations to provide value on sponsor projects, and we give Fellows the tools to launch entrepreneurial businesses or social ventures.

To-date, enFocus has engaged over 800 young professionals to work on over 150 projects across Northern Indiana sponsor organizations. Nearly 70% of these individuals have stayed and call Indiana their home. Our Fellows have incubated more than 20 new businesses and created more than $85 million in economic impact through innovation projects.

Together, we are solving complex problems, growing businesses, and changing the way communities innovate. For more information, visit en-focus.org.

Media Contact
Angie Kearns
Communications Manager
enFocus, Inc.