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.

Recent Events

CMRC Members, please log CMRC activity here for our data tracking purposes. 

02/18/22: Ministers for Manufacturing Committee Meeting. This quarter’s meeting features Craig Freedman, CEO of Freedman Seating, Andrew Stettner and Michelle Burris of The Century Foundation, DeeDee Jones of Manufacturing Renaissance, and Mari Castaldi of the Jane Addams Resource Corporation. Click here for recording. 

02/04/22: From educators, environmentalists, union leaders, we are here to convene champions for economic justice and manufacturing. We are proposing a national manufacturing renaissance strategy that centers inclusive sustainable development that will make America more competitive through investing in the training and education related to manufacturing and green jobs prioritizing low-income, Black, Latinx and other communities of color. Join us and learn more at https://mrcampaign.net/. Hosted by The Century Foundation, Manufacturing Renaissance, Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy Partners, Great Cities Institute, African American Policy and Leadership Institute, Prieto Wood & Boyer. Click here for recording. 

11/03/21: the CMRC presented Manufacturing as a Strategy for Inclusion and Development, Panel and Discussion featuring US Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves. Dep. Sec. Graves shared his latest thinking and moderated a panel of Chicagoland leaders including Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board. Recording of the event above. More highlights here

09/21/21: Ministers for Manufacturing Committee Meeting, featuring Jim Piper, President of Matot, Inc. and Rev. Timothy W. Wright, former Commissioner of Economic Development under Mayor Harold Washington. Click here for recording. 

06/21/21: Congressional and Manufacturing Leadership Panel Discussion. Click here for recording. Panel featuring Congressional and manufacturing leaders to discuss current federal policy opportunities supporting manufacturing in the Chicagoland area.

The CMRC Leadership Committee 

Colin Cosgrove, Vice President of Fabrication, S & C Electric

Mollie Dowling, Executive Director, OAI, Inc.

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

Rev. Anthony Haynes, Ministers for Manufacturing Chairman

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

Dr. Alice Palmer, Former Illinois State Senator, 13th District and Associate Dean and Director of Northwestern University’s African-American Student Affairs

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

Irene Sherr, Deputy Bureau Chief, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

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

Don Villar, Secretary-Treasurer, Chicago Federation of Labor

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 or join?

Check out our latest CMRC overview document here.

Questions? Contact Erica Staley, Executive Director, 773-278-5418 x20, estaley@mfgren.org

Complete the membership agreement:


Leaders promoting manufacturing to expand social inclusion and community development

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 $250 – $1000. If you are an individual or faith-based entity, please consider an annual fee between $5 – $250. 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 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.