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Meet the IMA’s 2016 Intern … Allison McNamara

Each summer the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association participates in the Illinois College Explorer Program providing a structured, supervised, short-term educational training program in which the student performs tasks and duties to gain knowledge and experience in “real world” business operations. Tasks, projects and responsibilities assigned help the student evaluate, review, articulate, and solidify the learning experience and consider future options. This allows the Intern to establish clearly defined learning objectives/ goals related to the professional goals of academic coursework.

This summer our intern, Allison McNamara was able to participate in various projects to help her achieve her goals. It is always our goal to invite the intern to learn from each department in our company. She attended our annual Business Day to meet and network with legislators, staff and IMA member companies.  She worked hand in hand with the IMA government affairs team spending time in the capitol talking with legislators, attending committee hearings and meeting with the Governor’s Office to advocate for manufacturing in Illinois.  Allie was asked to research and write a story about Women in Manufacturing that will appear in our summer quarterly publication The Illinois Manufacturer.

Alllie seized the opportunity to work with IMA’s Manufacturers Environmental Group.  One focus of IMA’s ongoing sustainable manufacturing effort is to find a new use for cathode ray tube (CRT) glass commonly found in older televisions and computer monitors.  Currently millions of CRT monitors are shipped overseas for processing or simply sent to landfills.  Illinois manufacturers are working to find solutions to return this material back to the mainstream as a valuable commodity.  This effort will make Illinois a hub of sustainable electronics recycling and bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity to our state.  Allie had the opportunity to visit an electronics recycling processing plant, an environmental testing laboratory and a groundbreaking retrievable storage cell at a landfill where treated material is gathered to be sent on for re-use in manufacturing.  She met with legislators, leading electronics manufactures, recyclers, waste industry officials, municipal solid waste agencies and environmental groups as part of this ongoing effort.  Allie brought a fresh and insightful perspective to the discussions that were greatly appreciated by all stakeholders.


As the IMA intern, she got a lot of experience working in a variety of areas such as the lobby at the state Capitol, a landfill, and a glass recycling plant. Allie states that “interning at the IMA gave me the opportunity to see what work was like in numerous different areas.”

Here, Allie is visiting a glass recycling plant where workers dismantle old tv and computer monitors in order to safely separate CRT glass from the plastic parts of the monitors.

Go to Facebook and vote for Allie’s picture.  She could win $50!