Illinois Leads Nation in Certified Machinists for 2014

Oak Brook, Illinois…Illinois led the nation in the number of newly credentialed machinists during 2014. The National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) announced that it awarded a record setting 2,285 certificates last year to individuals in Illinois seeking to enter into or advance in jobs in the industry, representing a  36% increase over 2013. In fact, more than one third of all credentials earned in the mid-­‐west alone went to Illinois men and women. Overall, NIMS issued 18,947 industry-­‐recognized credentials nationally during 2014.

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The 2014 Elections Are Over. What’s Next?

In November, Americans sent a powerful message to Washington from the polls: the status quo is not working anymore. Voters believe there is too much over-regulation and uncertainty from our federal government. They know that manufacturers in the United States won’t take the risks necessary to grow and create more jobs if they aren’t confident in our nation’s long-term economic plans. From onerous energy regulations to expiring tax credits that encourage investment in new technologies and worker training to the threat of shutting down the Export-Import Bank, manufacturers agreed upon the need for change. They believe that for far too long, the government has impeded growth, not advocated for it.

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New IMA Report: Electricity Competition has Saved Illinois Consumers $37 Billion

Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014: The report (click here to download) being released Monday by four business groups says the average household has paid $3,600 less overall than if the average annual electricity rates had stayed the same.

Deregulation kicked in in 1998, allowing Illinois utilities to compete for business on the open market rather than being regulated monopolies whose rates were set. The utilities before deregulation both supplied and delivered electricity to customers, who had no other choices. The legislature also restructured the natural gas market.

The report was issued by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Business Roundtable. Electric rates have risen recently as utilities make “smart grid” improvements.

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In the Loop 408 - Sand Fracking (October 23, 2014)


In the Loop 408 - Sand Fracking: featuring Mark Denzler, COO-IMA … To get at valuable sand underneath, mining companies are snapping up Illinois farmland that families have had for generations.The debate over ‘fracking’ for oil and gas is playing out in Illinois.


Senate EPW Report on the Unconventional Oil and Gas Boom

This morning, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Republican staff released a comprehensive report on the unconventional oil and gas boom, the role of new technologies in making this happen, and the manufacturing comeback that is being driven by these developments. This report echoes many of the messages the NAM has been advancing on the topic.  In addition, the report demystifies and rebuts many of the issues being raised by anti-fracking activists.  It’s a very good report and one that can be a good resource as you try to tell the story of energy and manufacturing competitiveness.  The report can be found here and the Committee’s press release can be found here.