Metals Consortium Achieves Re-Designation as a Manufacturing Community By U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the Chicago region is one of 12 communities nationwide re-designated under the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative.   

The new designation for the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium (CMMC) runs until 2018. The Chicago region was first designated in the inaugural round of IMCP in 2014. 

The IMCP program provides support for communities to invest in manufacturing and increase international trade and export opportunities. To receive and maintain the designation, communities have to demonstrate the strength and potential for continued growth of an existing manufacturing sector. 

The region’s designation submission highlighted the large scope of the fabricated metal and machinery sectors in the metropolitan area which constitutes more than 4,000 firms, $25 billion in an annual revenue, and employment of more than 110,000 persons.

As an IMPC Community with preferential status, CMMC has leveraged more than $40 million in public and private resources directly impacting manufacturers in Illinois with a focus on strengthening the fabricated metal and machinery sectors.

"The CMMC represents an unprecedented regional collaboration between the seven counties of Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) and the City of Chicago,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “The consortium works in conjunction with economic development organizations, academic institutions, workforce agencies and private sector businesses, all which are committed to supporting the local manufacturing ecosystem.”

"As McHenry County’s Board Chairman, the most impactful regional collaboration has been CMMC," said McHenry County Chairman Joe Gottemoller.  "We are stronger together and I look forward to even greater impact with the renewed designation."

CMMC helps manufacturers grow their businesses through collaboration and networking, market intelligence and promotion. Highlights from CMMC’s work over the past two years include: 

  • Organizing, with its partners, four regional matchmaking events to identify new suppliers and end users involving 164 businesses, including 90 manufacturers and resulting in more than 400 connections. 
  • Impacting 173 metro Chicago-area manufacturers that report achieving a combined $279 million in sales increases, investments and cost savings, as well as creation of 400 and retention of 1,100 jobs. 
  • Targeted infrastructure improvements to support manufacturing. In Cook County, infrastructure investment totaling $60.2 million has positively impacted 2,011 nearby metals manufacturers with 31,000 employees. 
  • Launching a Transatlantic Cluster Exchange with German American Chamber of Commerce to foster international research, technology exchanges, and cooperative projects. 

This announcement coincides with the national celebration of Manufacturing Month. 

Members of the consortium were pleased to see increasing interest and participation throughout the region on Manufacturing Day. For Manufacturing Month, in the Chicago region alone there are at least 43 events sponsored by 55 organizations.  One such event, on October 5th, sponsored by the Calumet Green Manufacturing Partnership, had participation from 22 businesses and 22 schools.  

Also on October 5th the Cook County Board approved a resolution supporting October as Manufacturing Awareness and Appreciation Month and recognizing the importance of manufacturing to the region.  

Other Manufacturing Month events included Manufacturing Matters, sponsored by the Illinois Alliance for Manufacturing, which featured Bruce Hettle, Group Vice President of Manufacturing and Labor Affairs as well as all of the region’s County Board chairs. 

CMMC and its partners are sponsoring other events around the region.  For more information on Manufacturing Day and related events, please visit:

To learn more about the CMMC, visit their website at:


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