FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2021
Illinois Manufacturers Celebrate Manufacturing Month
Gov. JB Pritzker issues proclamation honoring the industry as IMA Education Foundation launches statewide tour to address worker shortage, strengthen education pipeline
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) will celebrate Manufacturing Month throughout the month of October, highlighting the industry’s many contributions to our state and nation and partnering with businesses and education organizations to encourage more students to seek out a career in manufacturing.
The monthlong celebration kicked off with a proclamation issued by Gov. JB Pritzker declaring October as Manufacturing Month in Illinois expressing “with deep appreciation the vital role of manufacturing in every Illinois community and its ongoing contributions to our economy.”
The proclamation also noted the that Illinois has made significant progress in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic “thanks in large part to the heroic efforts of nearly 1,500 manufacturers and distributors who came forward to provide the state of Illinois with critically indispensable supplies and protective equipment needed by frontline medical and public safety personnel, developed life-saving medicines and diagnostic tools, and took extraordinary steps to ensure our food supply remained safe and plentiful.” In addition, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower at 300 E. Randolph in Chicago will also be lit up to visually honor the history and importance of manufacturing in Illinois and to observe Manufacturing Day, which is recognized nationally on Oct. 1.
Statewide, manufacturing generates more than $304 billion in economic output, contributing 12 percent to the state’s Gross Domestic Product – the largest share of any industry in Illinois. Manufacturers employ 550,000 women and men in Illinois at an average salary of $88,691, providing $52 billion in wages and benefits.
“Manufacturing Month is an incredible way to celebrate the hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women on factory floors across the state. Day in and day out, Illinois manufactures are making life saving vaccines and treatments, equipping health care workers and first responders with equipment, stocking our grocery stores with safe and nutritious food, building our infrastructure, powering our homes and businesses and maintaining critical communication systems,” said Mark Denzler, president & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “While this month is set aside to celebrate the contributions of manufacturers, their hard work and dedication deserves appreciation and recognition every day of the year.”
Throughout the month, the IMA’s Education Foundation will also host a statewide tour to bring together local manufacturers, business, economic development organizations and education institutions to discuss the challenges surrounding workforce development and identify workforce solutions. The Education Foundation will also be releasing a series of short videos from manufacturers across Illinois to highlight what’s fun and cool about pursuing a career in manufacturing.
While manufacturing remains an economic powerhouse in Illinois, manufacturers here and across the country are facing the threat of an aging workforce. Over the next decade, it is estimated that 300,000 men and women will leave the industry as baby boomers begin to retire. Already, there are 900,000 open manufacturing jobs nationwide.
“Illinois manufacturers brought the state the nation through the darkest days of the pandemic. While brighter days are surely ahead, Illinois manufacturers, educational institutions and our partners in government need to invest in equipping our students with the skills necessary to take on the next great challenge of our time,” said Sarah Hartwick, Vice President Education & Workforce Policy of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is proud to work with our partners in the public sector to ensure Illinois students can succeed. The IMA Education Foundation’s statewide tour will help focus our energy on the critical issues facing manufacturers and educators when it comes to preparing our students for the workforce of tomorrow.”
The IMA’s Education Foundation works with high schools and community colleges across the state to create pathways for students to begin acquiring specific skillsets necessary for careers in the manufacturing industry.
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, please visit http://ima-net.org/.
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