This has been an amazing and momentous year for the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and I’m honored to have been named the seventh leader in our vibrant 125-year legacy. Our 2019 Annual Report showcases a history-making year but the best is yet to come.
We immediately laid out a bold plan – Vision 2022 – that will guide the IMA forward as your respected and trusted voice in Illinois. The IMA also commissioned Manufacturing Matters – a new economic analysis – to showcase the importance of manufacturing to Illinois’ economy. From Rockford to Carbondale, Moline to Champaign, I traversed the state to tell our story of manufacturing and its amazing impact. Manufacturing makes the world a better place to live every single day by creating life-saving products, feeding the world, transporting people and products across the globe, powering our homes and businesses, building our infrastructure, innovating our technology and communications, and providing for our nation’s defense.
The IMA’s best-in-class government affairs team achieved important wins for manufacturers including nearly $300 million in tax cuts that will help spur innovation and investment in our state. We worked with the Governor and elected officials to pass a $45 billion capital infrastructure plan–the first in more than a decade–to build and repair our roads, bridges, rail, waterways, and airports. For the first time in IMA history, nearly two-dozen manufacturers flew to Washington D.C. to talk with policymakers about trade, education, and environmental issues.
Our IMA Education Foundation championed solutions to our skills gap and workforce challenge. We successfully passed a new apprenticeship tax credit and dual credit program assisting manufacturers growing their own workforce. In October, the IMA helped set a record when more than 250 manufacturing companies opened up their doors for Manufacturing Day to inspire the next generation of workers. We’ve launched a Women’s Council and Next Wave program for young leaders.
In 2019, the IMA focused on operational excellence. We smashed attendance records at IMA events, tripling the number of attendees. Whether it was tax law changes, new labor laws, or highlighting the employer protections in the new cannabis law, the IMA served as your valued source of timely and accurate information. Our new Association Health Care plan launched in October saving money and making it easier for small manufacturers to navigate the confusing health care marketplace while our Compensation & Benefit report is a must-read for HR professionals.
Time and treasure are precious commodities and we value your investment in the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. The IMA launched a new brand reflecting today’s modern, diverse, sustainable, and innovative manufacturing sector that is moving at the speed of light. I’m very proud that the IMA is evolving and standing by your side every single day. We are BOLDLY MOVING MAKERS FORWARD.
President & CEO