Expand Inclusive Manufacturing Ecosystems

Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC)

The CMRC is a diverse, regional coalition to promote manufacturing as a tool for social inclusion and equitable development. 


Chicagoland Manufacturing Renaissance Council (CMRC)

Formed in 2005, the CMRC is a regional coalition that promotes manufacturing as a tool for social inclusion and community development.

The CMRC is guided by 4 principles:

  1. Advanced manufacturing can expand the middle class, increase inclusion and equity in disenfranchised communities.
  2. Employers, workers and communities need strong education and workforce development systems.
  3. We need to prioritize manufacturing in strategies for sustainable development.​
  4. We need a broad, racially and socially diverse coalition of people, leaders, organizations and businesses who believe manufacturing builds communities.

Our coalition must include the following stakeholders:
  • Manufacturers and their associations​
  • Organized labor and their associations​
  • Educators and educational institutions​
  • Social service providers​
  • Community and faith leaders​
  • Youth and youth advocates​
  • Business owners and leaders​
  • Government officials ​

Want to learn more?

CMRC Activity Highlights

Read more about recent highlights here. CMRC Members, please log CMRC activity here for our data tracking purposes. 

3/28/24: CMRC cohosts a second event on building awareness around ownership opportunities in manufacturing. 

11/28/23: CMRC cohosts event on building awareness around ownership opportunities in manufacturing.

09/25/23: CMRC Leaders meet with Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President and George Wright, CEO Chi Cook Partnership.

08/28/23: CMRC Leadership Committee Meeting

06/21/23: CMRC leaders meet with Cong. Danny Davis

06/06/23: Education and Training Committee Meeting

05/17/23: CMRC Members Jim Piper of Matot and Sonat Birneker of KOVAL Distillery are keynote speakers at the Presidents’ Symposium of Chicago at The Gleacher Center, Downtown Chicago. Co-hosted by CMRC Member CIBC. 

04/26/23: Education & Training Committee Meeting

02/23/23: Industry Advisory Meeting

02/18/23: Industrial Policy Mayoral Forum co-host by CMRC members North Branch Works, MxD, UIC Great Cities Institute and Manufacturing Renaissance. Attended by five of the nine candidates including runoff finalists, now Mayor-Elect Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas. 

11/16/22: Advocacy Day, led by the Ministers for Manufacturing Committee, 16 CMRC members visited elected officials in Springfield, IL to share the latest about our efforts to expand inclusive manufacturing ecosystem programs that help build communities. Read more here

Make An Impact through CMRC Committees

Education and Training: The Education and Training (Ed&T) Committee will provide a space for members to learn, network, and advocate for a broad, racially, and socially diverse advanced manufacturing eco-system. Fostering strong partnerships amongst secondary and post-secondary education and training providers, the CMRC Ed&T Committee will drive solutions and best practices to ensure an inclusive and sustainable workforce development.

Industry Advisory: The Industry Advisory Committee represents the voice of our regional manufacturing sector within the CMRC while providing leadership and mentorship to workforce training programs. 2023 Goals include a review of hiring and training best practices, a review of the manufacturing sector human capital needs, and the expansion effort of MR programs into additional CPS locations.

Leadership Committee: The Leadership Committee reflects a cross section of the key stakeholders in the CMRC network to provide guidance and leadership to the CMRC’s network’s ability to achieve its goals.

Ministers for Manufacturing: The Ministers for Manufacturing Committee seeks to engage the regional faith community to advocate for and promote manufacturing as a tool for social inclusion and community development.

Policy Advocacy: The Policy committee seeks to engage, inform and involve the CMRC membership in policy discussions to determine CMRC support for relevant policy initiatives. 

The CMRC Leadership Committee 

Craig Freedman, CEO, Freedman Seating

Reggie Greenwood, Executive Director of the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation and the Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator

Lucy Minturn, CEO/Owner, FosterWorks

Michael Moriarty, Career Pathways Coordinator, Chicago Teachers Union Foundation – Co-Chair

Jim Piper, President, Matot, Inc. – Co-Chair

Michael Thompson, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

Jonathan Snyder, Executive Director, North Branch Works

Paola Velasquez, Director of Diversity in Manufacturing, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center

Don Villar, Secretary-Treasurer, Chicago Federation of Labor

Join US,
Become a Member

Become a Member

  1. Submit a membership agreement form. Indicate on the form whether you will pay membership fee via Donate button on MR website or if you prefer paying by invoice. 
  2. Sliding Scale Annual Membership Fee: Pay what you or your institution can afford. While we need your support, we value your participation. We have instituted a “Sliding Scale” annual fee to reduce the barriers for any one to join. If you are representing a non-profit or corporate entity, please consider giving an annual fee between $300 – $1500. If you are an individual or faith-based entity, please consider an annual fee between $5 – $300. You will be sent a renewal invoice annually on the anniversary date of your application submission. If you need to request a fee waiver for the year you may request one through the membership form.
  3. Participate in at least one CMRC-hosted committee or event.
  4. Be an ambassador and advocate of CMRC’s mission.

Membership Benefits

  1. Be part of a coalition with a diverse membership across the public/private spectrum and unique mission focused on expanding manufacturing, inclusion and equity.​
  2. Have access to cutting-edge workforce development and industry programs and policy-influencers.
  3. Network with other leaders in manufacturing, workforce development, education and community development.​
  4. Identify potential partnerships and investment connections.​
  5. Increase your visibility, amplify your voice as a CMRC member.


Leaders promoting manufacturing to expand social inclusion and community development