Congresswoman Kelly Visits ‘Made in Illinois’ Success Stories
To Promote Modern Manufacturing Jobs
Congresswoman Robin Kelly visited five companies and labs this week to highlight successful companies making products in Illinois, and to promote technology training and modern manufacturing jobs in the 2nd District.
Stops included Blue 1647, one of the largest minority entrepreneurship incubators in the nation, located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, and Sterling Lumber Company, a multi-generational family-owned business employing 225 people in Phoenix, one of Illinois’ poorest communities.
“An increasing number of traditional manufacturing jobs in the 2nd District are being replaced by jobs in advanced manufacturing,” Rep. Kelly said. “My tour proves that fine products are being made here, and I’ll continue to encourage increased investment in local manufacturing. The key to long-term economic growth in our region is having a highly-skilled workforce, so we need to encourage more young people — and minorities — to pursue technology or manufacturing careers and find the most effective ways to train them.”
Congresswoman Kelly regularly hosts Boot Camps, or hands-on workshops that expose students to careers in the STEM fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. She also regularly meets with manufacturers in the region to inform them of area training programs that are preparing people for advanced manufacturing jobs.
Other companies on Rep. Kelly’s tour were Chicago Magnesium Casting Co., the largest defense contractor in the 2nd District, manufacturing engine parts for commercial airlines, military aircraft and outer space travel; SouthWorks MakerLab, which provides training, workshops, workspace and tools to create electronic and physical devices; and Best Diamond Plastics, whose widely diverse workforce provides paper and plastic products to Jewel, Burger King, McDonald’s, and others.