Formed in 2005, the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC) is a coalition of business, labor, government, and community leaders working to make Chicago the global leader in advanced manufacturing. We believe advanced manufacturing can build a society that is socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable and restorative.
Success in the global manufacturing economy requires a determination to lead the race to the top -- to be the best in innovation, research and development, and production of complex products. Success also requires engagement with stakeholders at all levels of society.
We operate throughout the Chicago region to:
- Improve the public’s perception of manufacturing, and advocate for policies and programs that enhance the local manufacturing economy
- Support education, training, and access to careers in manufacturing -- especially for economically disadvantaged communities
- Increase the productivity and profitability of existing manufacturing companies in the Chicago region
- Promote international best practices that offer long-term benefits to owners, managers, employees, communities and the public sector
To learn more about our work to support the advanced manufacturing economy in Chicago, take a look at our programs.
Our work draws from international best practices:
- Mondragon, Spain: The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation is at the cutting edge of the Spanish industrial economy. With over 100 companies employing 130,000 people mostly in manufacturing, Mondragon's ratio between the highest and lowest paid is 7 to 1, and the many of the companies are now global leaders in their sector. This network introduced robotics into the Spanish industrial economy. Not only are they committed to manufacturing but also to being at the highest level of advanced technology.
- Emilia Romagna, Italy: With a population about the same size as Cook County's, Emilia Romagna has over 60,000 manufacturing firms, while Cook County has 8,000. Many of these are very small companies, privately held with a handful of employees, but a significant percentage of these firms are cooperatively owned. Emilia Romagna is one of the most economically and socially advanced regions in Europe, with a high standard of living and per capita income, low unemployment, and a very strong civil society.
- Germany and Denmark: The Renaissance Council's work has modeled a number of factors in these two countries' economies: linking education to actual work in manufacturing; emphasizing a national system of skill standards and credentials; social partnerships involving labor, business, government, education, and community leaders; and creating advanced educational institutions as a way to attract and retain high-quality jobs.
For more information about the Renaissance Council's vision for manufacturing in Chicago, check out our reports.