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Manufacturing Matters Study Reveals Economic Impact on Illinois

Susanna Kemerling
CEO of the IMA Mark Denzler is in the green tie.

Manufacturing has a huge economic impact on the state of Illinois: up to $600 billion per year.

That's the estimate by the Illinois Manufacturers' Association which is touring the state and stopped at the John Deere World Headquarters in Moline on Tuesday.
As a result of the study, Association CEO Mark Denzler says it will partner with the state to highlight manufacturing jobs with an ad campaign later this year.
He wants to change the public's perception of manufacturing.

"But we need to do a better job of number one, as I said, educating people about what modern manufacturing is. As I said, it's not dark, dirty and dangerous, it is hi-tech, it is diverse, it is sustainable."

Denzler says the ad campaign will target certain demographics.

"While women are half of the workforce, they're only about a third of manufacturing workers, so we just have to do a better job of attracting more people to the manufacturing sector. But as I said it's the ex-offenders, it's dislocated workers, it's returning veterans."

The association survey shows machinery manufacturing by companies like John Deere makes up 12% of all manufacturing in Illinois, but employment in the sector shrank 2.2% over the past ten years.
The number one sector in Illinois for employment growth is transportation equipment. It grew more than 48%, and followed by primary metal with employment growth of 12%.

Susanna Kemerling is WVIK Quad Cities NPR's 2022 Fellowship Host/Reporter. She graduated from Northern Illinois University for Media Studies in Communication and spent the last year working as a Teaching Assistant through the graduate program at NIU.
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