Manufacturing has long been a historic strength of metropolitan Chicago’s economy, helping the region become a national and international center for commerce. In an era of global trade, manufacturing remains a vital element of the region's economic health and competitiveness. ON TO 2050 and its predecessor GO TO 2040 underscore the importance of these economic strengths and recommend strategically organizing the region around its existing industry clusters -- including those in advanced manufacturing -- to better compete in evolving markets. The region can continue to excel by meeting industries’ growing demand for technical innovations, skilled workers, and infrastructure.
This 2013 drill-down report (PDF) explores how manufacturing in metropolitan Chicago has transformed in response to a globalized economy. The report identifies challenges and opportunities in the cluster’s infrastructure, workforce, and innovation. These assets are central to future cluster growth, and the report concludes with clear steps the region can take to support manufacturing. As a part of its research, CMAP developed several tools to illustrate the changing needs of the cluster, including the Advanced Manufacturing Scorecard below. A companion technical document (PDF) provides in-depth analysis as well as corresponding citations to support the conclusions of the summary report. Read more in the press release.