TMA Chairman Steve Kase represents manufacturers at symposium featuring release of CMAP Regional Manufacturing Cluster Report
CHICAGO, February 26, 2013 -- Tooling & Manufacturing Association (TMA) Chairman Steve Kase today participated in the panel discussion to help launch the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) report on regional manufacturing hosted by Harper College. "Less than a generation ago, major American corporations dominated world trade, product marketing, and R&D," said Mr. Kase, TMA Chairman and CEO of ASK Products, Inc. "Our region has broad expertise at its elite universities and federal laboratories, along with a substantial manufacturing base that has withstood fierce competition. Now we need to create connections between these innovators, job generators, and skills developers to ensure that the region takes advantage of market opportunities presented by advanced manufacturing."
CMAP's report, Metropolitan Chicago's Manufacturing Cluster: A Drill-Down Report on Innovation, Workforce, and Infrastructure contradicts the common belief that the seven-county region's manufacturing heyday is necessarily in the past. While manufacturing employment here did shrink by one-third in the past decade, the data-driven report says, productivity has increased as manufacturers have shifted from labor-intensive, lower-value products to higher-value products that require automation and fewer but higher-skilled workers. Annual manufacturing productivity in the Chicago region is $65 billion and rising, according to the report, and with more than 580,000 jobs, the region has more manufacturing cluster employees than all but one U.S. region.