$1.7 million awarded to 40 recipients through ‘Made in Illinois Grant Program’

Chicago Construction News staff writer

A total of $1.7 million in grant funding will go to 40 small and mid-sized manufacturers across the state through the Made in Illinois Grant Program.

The program provides up to $50,000 in matching grant funding for innovation and strategic advancements in manufacturing. The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) administers the program.

The program originally allocated $1 million and was increased to $1.7 million due to resounding interest in the program from Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturers. 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.

“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.


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