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
Apr232014

Open Forums on the Digital Lab for Manufacturing

Hosted by the City of Chicago, World Business Chicago and the Digital Lab

Plan to attend a forum on Chicago’s new $320 million Digital Lab for Manufacturing and learn how small- and medium-enterprise (SME) manufacturers across all industries can capture its benefits. Refreshments will be provided.

Dates/Times/Locations:

Friday, May 2, 8:00-9:30 am — A. Finkl & Sons at 1355 E. 93rd St.

Wednesday, May 28, 8:00-9:30 am — Eli’s Cheesecake at 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.

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Wednesday
Apr232014

Survey: Mexico and US Leading Low-Cost Manufacturing Locations

When evaluating low-cost locations worldwide for production of goods bound for the North American market, small- and mid-size manufacturing executives say the United States and Mexico are at the top of the list, beating China by a margin of over four to one. These results are included in the report, “Where in the World,” a study released today of competitive manufacturing locations worldwide commissioned by Entrada Group, a company that helps international manufacturers transition to Mexico swiftly and cost-effectively.

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Wednesday
Apr162014

Midsized Manufacturers Continue Growth Expectations in 2014

CFOs predict increasing revenues, capital investments and hiring while expressing concern about health care costs, maintaining margins and the competition for skilled labor

Prime Advantage, the leading buying consortium for midsized manufacturers, announced the findings of its sixth annual Group CFO Survey, revealing financial projections and top concerns of its Member companies’ CFOs in 2014. These CFOs remain optimistic about financial prospects and are focused on growth, as indicated by increased hiring, capital and R&D investments.

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Wednesday
Apr162014

Governor Quinn Unveils Six-Year, $8.6 Billion Transportation Construction Program

New Multi-Year Plan Will Improve 1,845 Miles of Highway, Replace or Rehabilitate 384 Bridges and Make Major Investments in Public Transit

Days after receiving positive feedback from bond rating agencies regarding his fiscal year 2015 budget plan, Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled a six-year, $8.6 billion construction program that will improve roads and bridges throughout Illinois while making major investments in public transportation. The projects are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and build a 21st century infrastructure that will drive Illinois’ economy forward.

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Tuesday
Apr082014

IMA’s IMIP Program May Be Able To Help With Business Expansion

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association offers a service, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Incentive Program (IMIP), to its members planning significant consolidation or expansion projects. For those companies considering new capital investment that will exceed $2.5 million and will create at least 25 new jobs over a two-year period, this program could provide significant savings. It has already been utilized to save a number of our members several million dollars.

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Tuesday
Apr082014

Michigan Manufacturing International (MMI) Releases Manufacturing Trends for 2014-2015

As quoted in an interview last week, Jacob Prak, CEO of Michigan Manufacturing International (MMI), provided an overview of manufacturing trends for the coming twelve months. A mechanical engineer, Prak founded MMI in 1991. He has seen many changes over the last 23 years and is well positioned to provide a comprehensive overview of the trends in manufacturing.

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Wednesday
Apr022014

IMA Calling for Comprehensive Tax Reform in Response to Governor Quinn’s Budget Address

On March 26th, Greg Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) released the following statement regarding Governor Quinn’s budget address: “Making the record income tax increase permanent is the wrong approach and a piecemeal solution to a much larger problem with outdated tax policy in this state. The IMA applauds Governor Quinn for laying out a clear picture of Illinois finances and offering his alternative for moving the state forward.

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Wednesday
Apr022014

Wearable Electronics to Drive Additional $70 Million in Battery Revenue During Next Four Years

 “Wearable electronics will be the key to sustaining the current very-high-growth levels of battery revenue in consumer electronics”

The global market for batteries used in wearable electronics will grow more than tenfold in just four short years, propelled by portable new products especially suitable for active sports and fitness lifestyles, according to a new report from IHS Technology.

Worldwide revenue for wearable electronics batteries is projected to reach $77 million by 2018, up considerably from a mere $6 million by year-end in 2014. This year marks the first time of significant volume for the market from a virtually non-existent base last year, and revenue will continue to climb very rapidly in the next few years ahead.  By 2018, industry takings will have grown nearly 120 percent from 2014 levels, as shown in the figure below.

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Tuesday
Mar252014

Special Report: Advanced Technologies Driving U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance

Advanced manufacturing software, automation, multifunction machines and 3-D printing creating new industry of the future

Developing a highly skilled workforce is critical to sustaining momentum in the U.S. manufacturing sector

The U.S. manufacturing sector is in the midst of a technology renaissance that has the potential to bring manufacturing work back to North America for years, according to Manufacturing Engineering’s annual trends report released with its March magazine issue. The boom can be sustained if the nation continues to invest in developing advanced manufacturing technologies and a highly skilled workforce.

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Tuesday
Mar252014

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Rebounds in March

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had decreased in February, improved in March. The Index now stands at 82.3 (1985=100), up from 78.3 in February. The Present Situation Index edged down to 80.4 from 81.0, while the Expectations Index increased to 83.5 from 76.5. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey®, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for the preliminary results was March 14.

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