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Ministers for Manufacturing fights for manufacturers in Springfield

North Branch Works
November 17, 2022

On Nov. 16th, our staff was honored to travel with Ministers for Manufacturing to Springfield for its first Advocacy Day.

Hosted by Representative Kam Buckner (26th District), our group of diverse stakeholders spent the day educating elected officials about the urgent need for state programs and policies that support manufacturing.

Manufacturing creates many benefits for communities including high-quality jobs that do not require advanced degrees, strong local supply chains, increased tax revenue, and sustainable and equitable development.

Ministers for Manufacturing with Rep. Kam Buckner (26th District)

With federal policy and funding opportunities such as the CHIPS and Science Act, it is a crucial moment for the State of Illinois to re-commit to manufacturing and strengthen communities across the state.

During Advocacy Day, we shared this key message with legislative leaders in the Illinois General Assembly.

These initial meetings are an important first step in laying the groundwork for specific state legislation that will strengthen manufacturing during the next legislative session.

In the meantime, Ministers for Manufacturing, Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council, and North Branch Works will continue our shared advocacy for manufacturing and tackle the most pressing challenges facing it.

Did you know that there are currently 50,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the Chicago region? Companies are having trouble finding skilled workers for their open positions.

At the same time, a high number of manufacturing employees are approaching retirement, which presents a major opportunity to train and employ people in underserved communities.

Unfortunately, many owners cannot find buyers when they are looking to sell. And only 30% of family-owned businesses are passed on to the next generation according to research from the Century Foundation.

These factors present an incredible opportunity to grow the manufacturing sector in Illinois and a shared prosperity across our diverse communities. We hope that you’ll join us in this important work.

This effort will require advocating for programs and policies and working closely with many stakeholders such as schools, educational institutions, nonprofit partners, manufacturing companies, and elected officials.

North Branch Works would like to congratulate Ministers for Manufacturing and the Chicagoland Renaissance Council for an inspiring and successful Advocacy Day. We are already looking forward to the next trip to Springfield.

If you’d like to join the next Advocacy Day and support this advocacy, please contact Steve Simmons at 773-929-5552 x2226 or

Meeting with Rep. Debbie Meyers-Martin (38th District)

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– John Smith, CEO of a very important business