Welcome to the IMA Executive News & Views Blog. The blog format reflects our efforts to provide IMA members with timely, relevant and thought provoking information in a form that is accessible for easy reference. IMA’s Executive News & Views Blog will be updated on a regular basis. Weekly news update emails will be sent out to notify subscribers of new information posted on the blog. IMA members are welcome to submit material for the blog, or request specific information. Simply email Editor Stefany Henson at shenson@ima-net.org with your information or request. Editorial submissions are subject to review. 

Wednesday
Apr152015

The REAL cost of non-compliance — Attend workshop May 12th in Rolling Meadows

The Affordable Care Act, OSHA and Medical Marijuana — what you need to know

Next month our strategic partner, Manufacturing Insurance Services of Illinois [MIS], will be conducting a free educational workshop in Rolling Meadows. The focus of this event will center around three specific topics we feel are extremely relevant to manufacturers in Illinois: The Affordable Care Act, OSHA, and Medical Marijuana.

MIS has partnered with leading industry professionals to develop an extremely informative seminar. The agenda has been designed to educate you on the state of our evolving legislative landscape and help your business maintain compliance in Illinois’ changing business environment.

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Wednesday
Apr152015

You are invited to participate in the 2015 McGladrey Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Survey

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is supporting the 2015 McGladrey Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor, and we’re asking for your participation. The survey officially launched on March 23 and submissions will be accepted until April 23. Now in its tenth year, the Monitor has been helping industry executives make informed decisions based on information gathered from companies across the country and around the world, and plans to provide an in-depth look at globalization, innovation and information technology — issues of primary importance to the industry and your company.

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Tuesday
Mar312015

Automotive Trends: Profitable Supplier Growth Amid Major Industry Change

From IMA member Plante Moran …

It’s hard to ignore the fragility of today’s supply chain as the automotive industry undergoes dramatic change and post-recovery restructuring. The industry has grown to volumes we haven’t seen in a decade, and suppliers are being pressured by their OEM customers to meet increasing demands for new products and expanded production capacity. As a result, supplier business models are being tested as they’re forced to devise new strategies to achieve profitable growth.

These aren’t flash-in-the-pan trends. Companies are struggling to keep up with the demands without sacrificing quality—we see it every day. It’s not surprising that suppliers are also struggling with the resulting capital investment.

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Tuesday
Mar312015

Chicago Business Barometer Remains Below 50 Barometer in Q1 Lowest Since Q3 2009; Orders Expected to Rise

The Chicago Business Barometer remained in contraction for the second consecutive month in March, failing to bounce back from the sharp plunge in February and pointing to a slowdown in the US economy. The Barometer increased 0.5 point to 46.3 in March, following a 13.6 point drop in February to a 5½-year low. The Chicago Business Barometer averaged 50.5 in Q1, down from 61.3 in Q4 and the lowest outturn since Q3 2009. While part of this decline may be attributable to the cold weather snap and strike action at west coast ports, the continued weakness in March points to a wider slowdown in business conditions.

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Thursday
Mar262015

Ex/Im Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg to address members at Luncheon on April 1st in Naperville

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association in conjunction with the Naperville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a luncheon featuring special guest, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank, Fred Hochberg. This special, limited event will be held on Wednesday, April 1st, at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville from 12:00 noon-1:30 p.m.

The Ex-Im Bank is the official credit export agency of the United States and has helped nearly 400 Illinois companies export more than $ 8 billion in goods and services around the world. It helps support more than 1.3 million jobs across America with the majority in the manufacturing sector.

Congressman Randy Hultgren and other elected officials will be joining this important conversation as the Ex-Im Bank is up for reauthorization in Congress.

Please register here today … join the IMA and Naperville Chamber of Commerce for this special event.

Thursday
Mar262015

NAM, Chamber Welcome Senate Efforts to Reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Director of Trade Facilitation Policy Lauren Airey and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director of International Policy Christopher Wenk issued the following joint statement on introduction of two Senate bills for a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank: “The introduction of a bipartisan long-term Ex-Im reauthorization bill by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) and a second long-term reauthorization bill by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tom Udall (D-NM) is an important and welcome step in ensuring that manufacturers will have the tools they need to compete in a tough global economy. The Ex-Im Bank, operating at no cost to taxpayers, fills a much-needed gap in export credit financing in the United States—one that private banks cannot fill. We hope this legislation will spur quick Senate action on the Ex-Im Bank in the coming weeks, and we applaud the authors of the two bills for their leadership on this important issue.” – NAM Director of Trade Facilitation Policy Lauren Airey

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Thursday
Mar262015

The Genesis Movement Launched to Strengthen Illinois Manufacturing

IMEC and Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance launch manufacturing movement to increase global competitiveness

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), in partnership with the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance, today launched The Genesis Movement, a new approach to strengthen the Illinois manufacturing sector and its workforce. The Genesis Movement provides tools and strategies that promote manufacturing excellence. The initiative aims to increase the competitiveness of Chicago-area manufacturers and create a more skilled and adaptable workforce.

“The manufacturing sector has changed drastically in recent years due to technology innovations that impact worker demands,” said IMEC President David Boulay. “The Genesis Movement is designed to meet these new challenges by focusing on the people, process and products needed for local manufacturers to move forward and better compete globally.”

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Thursday
Mar192015

IMA Initiates Resolutions Supporting Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank of the United States will cease to exist unless President Obama and members of Congress agree to reauthorize the official export credit agency by the end of June. The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association initiated legislation in both the House of Representatives (HR 273) and Senate to show support for the federal effort.

Nearly 400 Illinois companies have the utilized the Ex-Im Bank to help sell more than $8 billion in exports across the globe. Eighty-five percent of companies using the Ex-Im Bank are small businesses that use it to provide access to sales through working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase American products. It does not compete with private institutions but rather finances exports that the private sector is unable or unwilling to undertake. In the last three years, the Ex-Im Bank has returned more than $3 billion in fees to the U.S. Treasury.

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Thursday
Mar192015

International Trade Compliance Program Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Commerce Connecticut District office invites you to participate in a series of thirteen one hour to 90 minute nationally promoted webinars beginning in early April through late May 2015. The International Trade Compliance Webinar Training Program will provide U.S. companies either who supply the nation’s largest exporters, including Prime and Tier-one contractors in supply chain, or want to take advantage of the dynamic global market with focused training about compliance with international trade laws. The program will also focus on the different angles of compliance awareness and current challenges facing the upstream supply chain.

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Thursday
Mar122015

MFGDAY. com — Upgraded Site Promises More Features and Ease of Use for Volunteers, Sponsors, Host Companies and Event Attendees Alike

The partners responsible for producing Manufacturing DaySM at the national level recently announced the refresh of its website, MFGDAY.com. The upgraded site boasts more resources for sponsors, companies, supporters and volunteers, making it easier than ever to participate in this year¹s annual celebration of manufacturing, which is scheduled for Friday, October 2, 2015. Users can now sign up to host events, find MFG DAY® events in their areas, and learn more about sponsorship opportunities through the newly updated interactive site. With user-friendly links to social media channels, scholarships, and success stories, potential participants, manufacturers, educators and students can better collaborate and access important industry resources.

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