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Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Recognized as Best Manufacturing Advocacy Group in Nation

July 27, 2022

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Recognized as Best Manufacturing Advocacy Group in Nation

Awarded Inaugural Leadership Award by Conference of State Manufacturing Associations

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) was recognized as the best manufacturing advocacy group in the nation, winning the inaugural 2022 Leadership Award from the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations (COSMA) during its annual meeting this week in San Diego.

The IMA was recognized for efforts to build a future generation workforce through investments in education and training, including a $7 million Manufacturing Jobs Campaign aimed at attracting students, veterans, communities of color, women, ex-offenders and other individuals to the manufacturing sector. Other notable achievements include being named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to co-chair the state’s Equipment Task Force to secure needed supplies during the pandemic and being appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to serve on the B2B Recovery Group charged with advising city government on economic recovery planning efforts following the widespread disruptions caused by COVID-19.

“Our team is honored to receive this recognition from our colleagues across the nation,” said Mark Denzler, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We’re proud to represent the innovators and entrepreneurs who are solving our challenges and creating our future. Manufacturers work every single day to make the world a better place to live.”

Members of the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations serve as the National Association of Manufacturers official state partners and help to drive manufacturers’ priorities on state issues, mobilize local communities and help move federal policy from the ground up in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

“I am so pleased to present the inaugural COSMA Leadership Award to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association,” said Kris Johnson, President of the Association of Washington Business and chair of COSMA. “These are challenging times, but manufacturers in America have demonstrated once again, as they have throughout our nation’s history, that they are equal to the challenge. All manufacturers should be proud of the role they have played in navigating the pandemic, and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association should be especially proud of the innovative ways it has helped its members address the workforce challenges we have all faced. Congratulations to my friend Mark Denzler and his talented team.”

As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve with the rapid pace of technological development, the IMA is committed to working with educators, employers and public officials to create a skilled and experienced workforce. This includes supporting the creation of two new world-class Manufacturing Academies at Heartland Community College in Normal and Southwestern Illinois College in the Metro East to provide training to prepare Illinois residents to enter high-demand fields.

“Mark is more than an inspirational colleague and true friend. He is an amazing representative for Illinois’ manufacturing workers on the national stage,” said Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “At a time when there are more than 800,000 open jobs in our industry, we need the efforts of groups like the IMA to help us find that next generation of talent and strengthen manufacturing competitiveness so that we can continue to lead our economy and our country toward a better future.”

About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities. For more information, visit