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Governor Pritzker Awards $1.7 Million to 40 Recipients as Part of the Made in Illinois Grant Program

Today, Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) awarded $1.7 million in grant funding to 40 small and mid-sized manufacturers across the state through the Made in Illinois Grant Program. The Made in Illinois program provides up to $50,000 in matching grant funding to local Illinois manufacturers to support innovation and strategic advancements in manufacturing. IMEC served as grant administrator for this program.

“Manufacturing is on the rise in Illinois and my administration is providing local manufacturers with the resources they need to compete in the future,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thanks to this grant, 40 diverse recipients across the state will receive the capital they need to advance innovation in their field.”

The program originally allocated $1 million in funding and was increased to $1.7 million due to resounding interest in the program from Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturers. The Made in Illinois program underscores the State of Illinois’ commitment to strengthening its manufacturing base which is a vital component of the state’s economy. By providing financial support to local manufacturers, the program encourages innovation and advancement within the industry while contributing to job creation and economic prosperity throughout Illinois communities.

“Illinois is a globally recognized manufacturing leader and small and medium-sized manufacturers are a critical part of our state’s manufacturing sector and economy,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Through the Made in Illinois Program, the State is reinforcing its commitment to providing resources and opportunities to Illinois’ world-class manufacturers while supporting communities across the state.”

The Made in Illinois Grant Program represents a significant step forward in enhancing the competitiveness and resilience of Illinois' manufacturing sector. The selected manufacturers, spread across various sectors and regions of the state, exemplify the diverse capabilities and potential of Illinois’ manufacturers.

“The Made in Illinois Grant Program is just one example of the dedication to supporting Illinois manufacturers in their pursuit of excellence,” said David Boulay, Ph.D., President of IMEC. “By investing in innovation and strategic initiatives, these businesses are empowered to thrive and drive economic growth across the state.”

Grantee

Location

Grant Amount

555 International, Inc.

Chicago

$47,420

AFC Packaging LLC (Policarta Packaging)

Lake in The Hills

$47,420

Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc.

Yorkville

$47,420

Axis Designs, Inc.

Aurora

$47,420

Boombox Beverage LLC

Skokie

$47,420

BTM Industries

Woodstock

$47,420

Cardinal Plating Solutions

Aledo

$47,420

Carl Buddig and Company

South Holland

$39,073

Carolina Brands (Rutland)

Jacksonville

$46,652

Chicago Metal Supply & Fabrication Inc.

Chicago

$47,420

Clifford-Jacobs Forging Company

Champaign

$33,510

Curtis Thermal Processing

Machesney Park

$47,420

Designcraft, Inc.

Lake Zurich

$47,420

Double S Liquid Feed Services, Inc.

Danville

$35,565

Elkay Plastics Co., Inc.

Schaumburg

$47,420

Ergoseal

Carol Stream

$47,420

Forster Tool & Manufacturing

Bensenville

$47,420

Gallagher Asphalt Corporation

Thornton

$47,420

Gallagher Corporation

Gurnee

$7,903

Intertape Polymer Group

Carbondale

$47,420

JT Fennell Co., Inc.

Chillicothe

$47,420

KrisDee & Associates

South Elgin

$47,420

La Criolla, Inc.

Alsip

$47,420

Livingston Pipe and Tube

Staunton

$47,420

MicroWeld

Peoria

$47,420

Midwest Printed Circuit Services, Inc.

Round Lake Beach

$47,420

Moline Welding Inc.

Milan

$47,420

MTM Recognition

Princeton

$43,942

Muenchau Metal Works, LLC

Mascoutah

$47,420

Old Irving Brewing Co (Tripp Brewery, LLC)

Chicago

$47,420

RetMap, Inc.

Chicago

$27,504

Ro-Pal Grinding Inc.

Rockford

$47,420

Scot Forge Co.

Spring Grove

$47,420

Signarama Grayslake

Grayslake

$16,597

Square 1 Precision Lighting Inc.

Stone Park

$14,226

Tri-City Heat Treat Company

Rock Island

$47,420

Triangle Package Machinery Company

Chicago

$47,420

Wagner Machine Company

Champaign

$47,420

Watershed Foods, LLC

Gridley

$47,420

Whitey’s Ice Cream

Moline

$47,420

“Manufacturing is evolving rapidly, and staying current can be costly. Over the past five years, there's been significant investment in new equipment. Automating processes has been a critical strategic move and seeking assistance has proved highly advantageous during this transition period,” said Kurt Wagner, CEO of Wagner Machine in Champaign. “Automation has enabled the workforce to focus on higher-value tasks, enhancing efficiency, and quality improvements. This has led to continued job creation and an increase in machinist wages.”

“The Made in Illinois Grant is great program to drive local investment,” said Dan Foelske, VP Operations & Controller at Axis Designs in Aurora. “Axis Designs is currently on a steep growth trajectory. This award will help us add the automation and create the new jobs we need to support the ramp-up in demand.” 

Grant recipients are utilizing the funds in a variety of uses to directly advance innovation and growth in their fields. This includes machinery acquisition, including state-of-the-art 3D printers, specialized automation equipment, and collaborative robotics. Late-stage product testing and scaling efforts is also a key focus for grantees, which is essential for successful product deployment.

In addition to the grant opportunity, the Made in Illinois Grant Program also offers manufacturers access to expertise and resources, guiding them toward a future defined by productivity and innovation. Through expertise and resources and through the grant program, manufacturers are set to benefit from:

  • Productivity Boost: Grant funds support production enhancements for sustained growth.
  • Innovation Focus: The program encourages manufacturers to integrate cutting-edge technologies for continuous improvement.
  • Cost-Effective Innovation: Backed by IMEC's expertise, manufacturers innovate while keeping costs in check.
  • Quality Improvement: Grant recipients invest in automation to elevate product quality.
  • Workforce Support: Automation and smart technologies equip manufacturers with an opportunity to up-skill their workforce.
  • Market Leadership: Manufacturers gain a leadership position by adopting cutting-edge technologies.
  • Machinery Acquisition: Emphasis on strategic acquisition for advanced machinery.
  • Flexibility and Resilience: Fosters adaptability through advanced technologies to lower operational risk and pivot to market shifts.

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