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Manufacturing Summit features available resources

North Branch Works
July 10, 2024

On June 27th, manufacturing companies, advocates, and policymakers came together to promote manufacturing in the North Branch and highlight available resources. Manufacturing remains an essential part of Chicago’s vibrant economy, making up 12% of its GDP.

There were three important takeaways from our Manufacturing Summit:

  • The Cook County Assessors Office is in the process of assessing the value of properties in Chicago. If companies disagree with the initial assessed value, they can make an appeal directly to the Cook County Assessors Office before it goes to the review board. With questions on how to appeal, please contact Erik Harmon at
  • The Cook County Manufacturing Reinvented Program has available grants of up to $25,000 for industrial and manufacturing companies in Cook County with less than 500 employees. This funding can be used for tools and resources that grow your business, improve its operations, and protect it from cybersecurity threats. NBW and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center have been conducting one-on-one meetings with companies to connect them to this resource. With questions and/or to schedule a meeting, please contact Steve Simmons at 773-929-5552 x2226 or
  • The Women’s Business Development Center is recruiting manufacturing firms looking to work with the federal government for an eight-week cohort program. The program will position manufacturing firms to win contracts with the federal government. It is an eight-week program beginning on Fridays with a projected start date of September 20th. With questions and for more information, please contact Maura Downs, Managing Director of Government Contracting Services, at 708-624-0016 or

To review slides from the presenters at the Manufacturing Summit, please go here.

Also, please find below contact information for our presenters in case you’d like to reach out to them directly.

Tony Papke, Sr. Director of Business Development, MxD:

Tom Grant, Regional Manager, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center:

Josh Grodzin, Regional Manager, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center:

Kyle Shulz, Chief Growth Officer, World Business Chicago:

Nicolette Peters, Public Sector Investment Strategy Manager, World Business Chicago:

Tana Francellno, Director of Workforce Development, World Business Chicago:

NBW would like to thank our partners on the Manufacturing Summit: World Business Chicago, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, The Office of the Cook County Assessor, Women’s Business Development Center, Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and MxD.

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– John Smith, CEO of a very important business