Located on the rehabbed Austin Multiplex Campus on Chicago's West Side, Austin Polytechnical Academy (APA) is a college and career prep high school home to the Manufacturing Connect program.

APA and Manufacturing Connect work together to prepare students for success in college and career opportunities after graduation. Manufacturing Connect complements APA’s Career and Technical Education engineering and machining courses so that students have the opportunity to apply their academics and technical skills in real-world work experiences with local manufacturers who are looking for the next generation of talent for their companies.

Austin Polytech was founded by Chicago Public Schools and the Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council in 2007 to educate the next generation of leaders in advanced manufacturing. The Manufacturing Connect program emerged out of partner organization Manufacturing Renaissance providing intermediary and technical assistance support to the school, creating industry partnership, designing the WaterSaver Faucet Manufacturing Technology Center, designing the curriculum to support students earning National Institute for Metalworking Skills, coordinating work experiences in manufacturing and other leadership and professional development opportunities for participating students. Students learn about careers in all aspects of the industry, from skilled production and engineering to management and company ownership.