$25 Million 'Illinois Manufacturing Excellence' Grant Will Help Kane Businesses Grow

$25 Million ‘Illinois Manufacturing Excellence’ Grant Will Help Kane Businesses Grow

A new $25 million U.S. Department of Commerce grant to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center will help Kane County manufacturers grow and compete.

The funding, which was awarded by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, includes an initiative to help small businesses keep up with technology changes in the industry. It will dramatically increase IMEC’s presence to serve the critical manufacturing sector across Illinois, increasing services for small, emerging and rural firms and providing a stronger focus on services related to product, customer and market growth.

In Kane County, IMEC’s outreach has complimented the County Board Jobs Committee’s efforts to support local manufacturers. IMEC and Kane County are partnering on site visits, workforce development and training initiatives and connecting with local companies with other new regional opportunities.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 4.42.20 PM“IMEC has been before the Kane County Jobs Committee twice in 2015,” said committee Co-chair Rebecca Gillam, “We are working together to network and make sure our companies know about these important new sources of funding and support.”

The other new opportunities for Kane County manufacturing companies include grants to increase exports, free access to PROBE, a manufacturing business diagnostic tool, and a manufacturing matchmaking event hosted at Waubonsee Community College on Feb. 24, 2016.

“We intend that the Jobs Committee’s support for these opportunities sends a strong message to businesses,” said co-chair Theresa Barreiro, “that Kane County supports your efforts to grow your company.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who announced the award Friday, said the new award is part of a multiyear effort to update the U.S. Commerce Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which provides a wide range of services to small and medium-size manufacturers through centers in every state and Puerto Rico.

Through university partners, client services, state funding, and other sources, matching funds will more than double the federal investment.

“Small, emerging and rural firms throughout Illinois and the Midwest must be able to grow their businesses and with the support they’ll receive from this grant they can continue to do just that. These businesses will now have the assistance they need as they continue to adapt, survive and grow,” Durbin said. “I am happy to say that the work of IMEC, its partners, and the hard-working small businesses in our state make will make the words ‘Made in Illinois’ more common.”

“This grant award positions us to build on our manufacturing outreach tradition with three signature initiatives designed to address strategic engagement around people, process and product, to prioritize the adoption of changing technology, and to champion manufacturing,” said IMEC President David Boulay. “These initiatives promise transformational impacts for Illinois manufacturing.”

Since IMEC was first established in 1996, it has worked with its partners to improve manufacturing efficiency to create new opportunities for businesses and workers. In 2015, more than 540 companies were assisted, helping create or retain more than 1,000 jobs.

For additional information on these local opportunities, contact Chris Toth at (630) 232-3491 or at tothchris@co.kane.il.us.

SOURCES: Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center news release, Kane County Development Department

Event: Manufacturing Matchmaking – Sugar Grove

The Feb. 24, 2016 Manufacturing Matchmaking event is a great, local opportunity for manufacturing representatives in metals, machinery, and other similar industries to meet with potential new customers and/or suppliers; share information, samples, and more that could help secure a new partner for business! Manufacturers arrange for up to seven introductory matchmaking meetings (15 minute appointments) and all meetings are based on registrant selections. Think speed dating for manufacturers!

Register Online!

The matching event is for manufacturers only and industry codes will be verified.

How it works:

  1. Once registration is complete, a listing of all participating companies will be emailed to registrants.
  2. Participants review the list and select and rank preferred matches (up to 10) using our convenient online selection form.
  3. Upon arrival the day of the event participants will receive their detailed matchmaking schedules.
  4. Formal matchmaking meetings will end at 11:45 a.m. with an opportunity for open matches and networking afterward. Lunch is also available from 11 a.m. to noon.

Read More