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
Jul232014

To Offshore or Reshore? That Is the Question

From IMA member Plante Moran …

Back in March, I had the pleasure of being one of the 20 featured speakers at Capital Roundtable’s full-day conference on Private Equity Investing in Niche Manufacturing companies in New York City. The conference hosted an equal blend of private equity investors, niche manufacturing executives, investment bankers, and service providers who came together to discuss everything from building deal platforms to finding and identifying attractive deals to reshoring manufacturing operations. I was a member of the reshoring panel. Here are a few key takeaways:

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Wednesday
Jul232014

NAM: Monday Economic Report – July 21, 2014 — Growth in Manufacturing Production

With more and more data starting to trickle in for June, we are seeing some definite trends taking shape. One positive is that the manufacturing sector continues to expand, suggesting that the rebound from winter-related softness earlier in the year has mostly continued. Manufacturers also tend to be mostly upbeat about the second half of this year — a sign of optimism that is encouraging. Yet, there were also indicators suggesting that the pace of activity slowed somewhat in June, most notably in the industrial production, housing starts and retail sales numbers that were released last week.

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Wednesday
Jul162014

Governor Quinn and 1871 Announce Major 25,000 Square Foot Expansion

Move Will Grow Chicago’s Digital Entrepreneurship Hub by 50 Percent This Summer

Governor Pat Quinn was joined last month by 1871 CEO Howard A. Tullman and members of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center board of directors to announce that 1871 will grow by 25,000 square feet this summer. The $2.5 million expansion will increase 1871’s size by 50 percent and is the latest major accomplishment for the innovative co-working space, which just had its second birthday.

“In just two short years, 1871, its member companies and alumni have created more than 1,000 jobs,” Governor Quinn said. “1871 has become a true entrepreneurial hub for our state and its expansion means more career opportunities for the hardworking residents of Illinois. We look forward to a strong partnership with 1871 as we continue to grow our start-up community and support our innovators.”

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Wednesday
Jul162014

Save the Date — 14th Annual Chicago City Treasurer’s Entrepreneur Business Expo Friday, October 3rd

The City of Chicago Treasurer’s Entrepreneur Business Expo will be held on Friday, October 3rd. Last year, there were over 4,000 attendees and top business leaders who enjoyed a FREE day of expert business workshops and networking. For more info, visit the Business Expo website.

Wednesday
Jul162014

State Science and Technology Institute 18th Annual Conference, September 14-16

The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that SSTI (State Science and Technology Institute) — the leading national organization dedicated to improving the economy through science, technology and innovation — has selected Chicago as the location for its 18th annual conference. The conference, which has grown to become the nation’s premiere event for sharing ideas on the best practices in technology-based economic development and fostering regional prosperity in a global economy, will be held at the Westin Chicago River North Hotel on September 14 - 16, 2014. For more information on the event, click HERE

Thursday
Jul102014

Project Calls to advance and commercialize digital manufacturing technology originally developed by DARPA released by the DMDII

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII, or the Institute), a program of UI LABS, announced the release today of two Project Calls for research and development efforts to transition technology originally developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of its Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) program. The two solicitations request proposals from teams combining large and small manufacturers, commercial software development companies, and academic research institutions to advance and commercialize a suite of design and manufacturing tools focused on weaving digital methods into the traditional process of making everyday products like cars, airplanes and appliances.

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Thursday
Jul102014

Attention all employers: Free Jobs Fair, Friday, August 8, Darien

Please Join Rep. Jim Durkin, Sen. Christine Radogno & the Indian Prairie Library District for a FREE Jobs Fair.

Looking for Qualified Local Job Seekers to Match Your Business’ Employment Needs?

All area businesses are invited to participate! Space is limited, so call to reserve your spot today!

FREE JOBS FAIR — FRIDAY, AUGUST 8TH — 9:00 am–12:30 pm— Darien Sports Complex, 451 Plainfield Road, Darien.

Call, fax or e-mail your contact information to Julie at: phone: 815-464-9908, E-mail: jlmceinc@aol.com, Fax: 815-464-9607.

Wednesday
Jul022014

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Union Fee Rules

From IMA member Michael Best & Friedrich LLP …

 On Monday, June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in Harris et al. v. Quinn et al., striking down Illinois public-sector “fair share” policies that required home healthcare providers for Medicaid recipients to pay union fees. The Court held that the home healthcare providers were only partial public employees and therefore did not have to pay “fair share” or “agency” fees to the union representing them. The home healthcare providers originally challenged the policies because they believed the policies infringed on their First Amendment rights by “forcing them into speech they did not necessarily agree with.”

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Wednesday
Jul022014

Illinois DCEO Releases Five-Year Blueprint

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has issued a five-year economic development plan for Illinois, a proposal that sets out the state’s priorities for encouraging private-sector job growth and business vitality, especially in regions with the highest poverty and unemployment. The plan, developed and administered by DCEO, identifies seven high-growth business sectors in which the state can concentrate its efforts. It also increases accountability by requiring close cooperation with local economic development officials and by specifying five-year growth targets in measures such as job creation and business launches.

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Wednesday
Jul022014

Worker Classification: What’s at Stake?

by Barbara Weltman, Guest Blogger, U.S. Small Business Administration

When you need help to run your business, you have to decide whether to hire an employee or outsource the work to an independent contractor. For the most part, independent contractors are on their own when it comes to taxes, insurance, and retirement savings. In contrast, employees are largely your responsibility for these costs. You’re free to opt for the arrangement that works better for your business. But you can’t simply attach a label to a worker and make it stick; it all depends on the degree of control that you exercise. Here’s what’s at stake for your decisions and actions:

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