This is a very big deal, announced Friday by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
Why should you care? Well maybe because those 12 designated Manufacturing Communities will have access to assistance from 11 federal agencies with $1.3 billion available for economic development support.
Much work was contributed during the application process by Kane County staff including Mark VanKerkhoff, Brett Hanlon, Carl Schoedel, Tom Rickert and Mike Sullivan from the Kane County Division of Transportation.
This was an offshoot effort of the Counties Economic Summit held last December by Preckwinkle.
The Chicago metro region has long been considered one of the nation’s top metal manufacturing regions. With more than 3,700 firms in the region representing a combined $30 billion of annual revenues supporting this cluster, along with 100,000
people working in the region, the industry is poised to further grow and strengthen the regional economy.
In particular, the region will build off its strengths in transportation – with six Class 1 railroads, seven interstate highways, and the second busiest international cargo airport – and in workforce development, the result of an existing efforts by 12
regional community colleges in the Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing.
The Chicago region’s more than 3,700 firms in the metals industry and supply chains employ more than 100,000 people and generate more than $30 billion in revenues. Building on the region’s metal base, transportation network, and workforce development partnerships, the consortium proposes integrated investments across six key pillars which will create a virtuous cycle of development in the region.
The federal initiative aims to revitalize manufacturing through public-private partnerships and coordinated federal funding.
“The 12 Manufacturing Communities announced today represent a diverse group of communities with the most comprehensive economic development plans to attract business investment that will increase their competitiveness,” Pritzker said.
IMCP is one of the main programs at the center of the Obama administration’s efforts to support job creation and accelerate manufacturing growth to make our communities more globally competitive, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams.
From the 70 communities that applied, the top 12 were selected by an interagency panel, based on the strength of their economic development plans, the potential for impact in their communities, and the depths of their partnerships across the public and private sector to carry out their plans.
In order to earn the designation, communities had to demonstrate the significance of manufacturing already present in their region and develop strategies to make investments in six areas: 1) workforce and training, 2) advanced research, 3) infrastructure and site development, 4) supply chain support, 5) trade and international investment, 6) operational improvement and capital access.